California Pharmacist License Defense Attorney
If you are facing a California Board of Pharmacy investigation, accusation, or pharmacist criminal charge, you need an experienced and respected pharmacist license defense attorney by your side as early as possible in the process.
Interactions with pharmacy inspectors, investigators, and the Board of Pharmacy can be nerve-racking and involve serious risks to your license, reputation, and career. It is easy for you to make mistakes that can unintentionally incriminate you or weaken your defense.
Pharmacy license lawyers with 65+ years experience
At Chudnovsky Law, our experienced pharmacy lawyers are well known and respected by the Inspectors of Pharmacy, Deputy Attorney Generals, and Judges that handle pharmacist cases. We know how to successfully resolve even the most difficult cases and will vigorously protect you at every stage.
Our award-winning attorneys Robert K. Weinberg, Suzanne Crouts, and Melissa DuChene have over 65 years experience handling thousands of pharmacy license defense, investigation, criminal defense, DEA, pharmacist DUI, and Federal crime cases.
They represent every type of pharmacy license, including: Pharmacy Technician (TCH), Pharmacist (RPH), Pharmacy (PHY), Designated Representatives (EXC), Clinic (CLN), Hospital (HSP and DRE), Pharmacy Nonresident (NRP), Intern Pharmacist (INT), Sterile Compounding (LSC) and Wholesalers (WLS and OSD).
- Pharmacist license defense
- Pharmacy license defense
- California Board of Pharmacy
- The 6 stages in a pharmacist case:
- 1. Complaint or criminal charge
- 2. Interview, investigation
- 3. Formal accusation filed
- 4. OAH administrative hearing
- 5. Writ of mandate appeal
- 6. Reinstatement or penalty relief
- Pharmacist DUI, criminal defense
- Pharmacist recovery program
- About our attorneys
Our California pharmacy license defense attorney can assist you in understanding and resolving any issue affecting your license, including:
- CA Board of Pharmacy and Department of Consumer Affairs investigations
- Negligence, unprofessional conduct and incompetence accusations
- Pharmacy law and regulation violations
- Pharmacist criminal defense
- DEA audit or DEA Diversion Control investigation
- Inspector of Pharmacy audit and investigation
- “Pharmacist Recovery Program” for substance abuse
- Reporting pharmacist criminal convictions
- Diversion of medication
- Federal matters involving DEA, FDA or US Attorney’s Office
- Insurance and Medi-Cal billing fraud
We represent individuals, pharmacies and companies licensed and regulated by the California State Board of Pharmacy, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).
Decades of experience working for you
Our pharmacist lawyers understand the stress you’re feeling and are 100% focused on protecting you. We develop effective defense strategies that present you in the best possible light and ensure your case will end as favorably as possible. We do not judge, we are only here to help.
If you would like the best outcome possible, call (844) 325-1444. Our pharmacist license lawyer will vigorously defend you and your license.
We represent pharmacists throughout California, including: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Sacramento County, Contra Costa County, and Ventura County.
We offer affordable fees and flexible payment plans.
California State Board of Pharmacy
The California State Board of Pharmacy is a regulatory agency that has been a part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) since 1971. The board licenses and regulates pharmacists, pharmacies and pharmacist technicians as well as wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers of drugs and medical devices.
Licensees are subject to strict California pharmacy laws, regulations and professional standards that are intended to protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring quality pharmacist care and the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals.
The Board of Pharmacy achieves it’s goals by:
- Requiring licensees demonstrate the requisite skills through examination, education and continuing education requirements.
- Requiring licensees meet certain ethical and professional standards.
- Investigating complaints and potential violations of pharmacy regulations.
- Enforcement disciplinary actions ranging from reprimand to revocation of the license with loss of the right to practice or operate a pharmacy.
California Board of Pharmacy license statistics
The Board of Pharmacy had 140,227 active licenses as of October 27, 2022. During fiscal year 2022, the Board of Pharmacy conducted 3,462 inspections, received 2,365 consumer complaints, referred 1,763 complaints for investigation, received 924 criminal conviction/arrest notifications, filed 238 accusations and disciplined 383 licensees.
California State Board of Pharmacy
2720 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95833
The 6 stages of pharmacist license defense
Pharmacist license defense is the legal practice of defending a Board of Pharmacy license at 6 stages in disciplinary actions:  Pharmacist complaint or criminal charge,  License investigation and interview,  Formal Accusation,  Administrative Hearing,  Appeal, and  Reinstatement and penalty relief.
Our California pharmacist license defense attorney specializes in defending all Board of Pharmacy licensees. Pharmacist and Pharmacy licenses are subject to strict Pharmacy laws and regulations. If you need legal help, call 844-325-1444 to speak with a lawyer.
Licensees can face discipline at several different stages. New license applicants can be denied due to a criminal record, pending criminal actions, discipline history in another state, examination scores, making false statements or omitting facts in the application, failing to meet certification or education requirements. (CA BPC § 480)
Board of Pharmacy disciplinary actions have six stages:
1. Pharmacist Complaint or Criminal Charge
Board of Pharmacy enforcement activity begins when the board receives:
- A complaint,
- Notification of a criminal charge, arrest or conviction, or
- Notice of a disciplinary action in another state or license.
Complaints can be filed online by anyone, including anonymous parties for alleged violations of pharmacy laws and regulations. If the board review of the complaint finds a violation of California pharmacy law may have occurred within the board’s jurisdiction, the complaint will be referred to one of 12 district offices for investigation by the DCA Division of Investigation.
If you have been arrested for a pharmacist DUI or any alleged pharmacist crime, it is critical to hire a criminal lawyer with expertise in pharmacy license defense. The DOJ informs the board of criminal arrest or conviction via CORI notification.
Important Note: The period after arrest for a crime is a key window to protect your license. Every effort must be made to get the charge dropped or reduced.
Robert Weinberg, Melissa DuChene, and Suzanne Crouts are pharmacy license defense lawyers and criminal attorneys. They have over 65 years of experience handling healthcare license criminal matters. They strategically balances delicate plea, disclosure, and criminal defense considerations key to maintaining an unencumbered Board of Pharmacy license.
2. Pharmacist License Investigation, Interview
Licensees typically become aware of a pharmacy license investigation after receiving a phone call, records request, investigator visit, subpoena or letter from the Board of Pharmacy, DEA or Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation (DOI). The DOI handles investigations for the Board of Pharmacy.
DOI investigators and Inspectors of Pharmacy are often veteran detectives or DEA agents with years of experience in the art of investigation. They often adopt a casual, friendly tone that lulls pharmacists into saying things they shouldn’t or releasing information that causes problems later. They are sworn peace officers with the power to execute warrants and arrest you.
Interviews are a key opportunity to show discipline is unwarranted.
If you’ve been contacted by DOI, Pharmacy, or DEA investigators, call our California Board of Pharmacy investigation lawyer as early as possible at (844) 325-1444. We will help you prepare for an interview and carefully develop a strategy and response that doesn’t unintentionally incriminate you or weaken your defense.
Representation by an expert California State Board of Pharmacy license defense lawyer can greatly increase the odds of resolving your case with no disciplinary action.
Important Note: If your case can be resolved in the investigation stage, the allegation against you will not be published on the Board’s public license website.
3. Formal Accusation Filed
Accusations are pleading documents filed by the Board of Pharmacy and Attorney General outlining allegations and charges seeking to discipline a licensee. Accusations are published publicly on the board’s website and typically seek recovery of all investigation and prosecution costs in disciplinary cases.
Pharmacists have the right to dispute the allegations in an accusation via a hearing at the Department of Justice, Office of Administrative Hearings as long as the hearing request, or “Notice of Defense” is filed within 15 days of receipt of the accusation. If not, the licensee will be determined to have waived their rights to a hearing and the board can take the actions defined in the Accusation.
When you retain Chudnovsky Law to resolve your case, we work on two tracks:
- Negotiate the best terms possible for a Stipulated Settlement with the Attorney General to determine if there are terms you would agree to, and/or
- Analyze the case and prepare for an administrative hearing, if needed.
When a case is settled via a Stipulated Settlement, the licensee typically admits to some wrongdoing and agrees to accept an administrative sanction. Much of the language in a Stipulated Settlement comes from the Board of Pharmacy Disciplinary Guidelines.
If you have received an Accusation, contact us as soon as possible to review your case and preserve your rights to defend yourself.
4. Administrative Hearing at OAH
If your case is not resolved in the Accusation phase, it will be decided via a hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). An Administrative Law Judge will preside while your counsel and a Deputy Attorney General argue their case and present evidence subject to California rules of evidence.
After your hearing is concluded, the administrative judge is given 30 days to render their decision. The most common outcome of a pharmacy license administrative hearing is the retention of the license subject to some probationary terms.
Attorneys Robert K. Weinberg, Melissa DuChene, and Suzanne Crouts have over 50 years experience representing clients in administrative hearings, Superior Courts, and Federal Courts for professional license and criminal defense matters. They have handled 1000’s of cases and jury trials and are skilled at vigorously defending you against any board accusation.
5. Writ of Mandate Appeal
A writ of mandamus is the method of appealing the result of administrative hearings. Writ appeals ask California Superior Court judges to review administrative law decision and determine if the administrative judge made an error or abused their discretion. Usually a writ of mandate must be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the decision.
6. License Penalty Relief and Reinstatement
Chudnovsky Law represents professional licensees submitting petitions for reinstatement and penalty relief. Pharmacists can petition the California Board of Pharmacy for reinstatement of a revoked license, early termination of probation or reduction of imposed penalties. Varying eligibility and time limitations apply that your lawyer can explain.
Chudnovsky Law is experienced in creating successful petitions for license reinstatement and penalty relief. Call us at (844) 325-1444 to review your situation. We are available to help you at every stage of pharmacy license defense.
Pharmacist criminal defense attorney
A criminal charge, law enforcement investigation or even just an accusation of misconduct can wreak havoc on a pharmacist, nurse or medical license. They can trigger a pharmacy license investigation, suspension or revocation and the loss of your ability to work.
It is crucial for licensees to hire a pharmacist criminal lawyer or pharmacist DUI lawyer with expertise in both administrative and criminal law. Pharmacists have specialized defense requirements that must be carefully adhered to in order to protect their license and secure the best possible results.
Attorneys Robert K. Weinberg, Suzanne Crouts, and Melissa DuChene are experienced criminal defense attorneys and pharmacy license attorneys. They are experienced defending healthcare licensees, pharmacists, pharmacies, sterile compounding pharmacies, nursing licenses and pharmaceutical corporations for criminal and licensing matters involving California and Federal laws, including:
- All misdemeanor and felony charges
- State, DEA and Federal criminal investigations
- Pharmacist DUI, DUI drugs, felony DUI
- Drug diversion
- Drug billing and insurance fraud
- Prescription drug offenses
- Practicing impaired
- Federal crimes and DEA offenses
- Domestic violence
- Financial fraud
- Sex crimes, sexual misconduct
License disciplinary actions for criminal conviction
The Board of Pharmacy has broad authority and discretion under CA BPC § 4301 to discipline licensees for unprofessional conduct, criminal convictions and crimes “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties of a licensee.”
Once a criminal charge or investigation is active, it is critical to quickly make every effort to get the charge dropped or reduced before conviction.
If you are under law enforcement investigation or have been arrested for any criminal or DUI offense, contact as early as possible to book a consultation to discuss your case and the actions needed to protect your license, reputation and freedom.
RELATED: The 17 Best Criminal Defense Strategies
RELATED: The 20 Best DUI Defense Strategies
Pharmacist Recovery Program
The board offers a Pharmacist Recovery Program for licensed pharmacists and intern pharmacists whose competency is impaired due to drug/alcohol chemical addiction or mental illness. According to the board, “a recent study indicated that 46% of the pharmacists and 62% of the pharmacy students studied had used controlled substances at some time without a prescription.”
The Maximus managed program claims only 13% of participants relapse after completion. Determining whether to enroll in diversion is a decision that should be carefully evaluated. The diversion program is invasive and expensive – and it can still end in a disciplinary action against your license. For some, it can be a helpful way to achieve sobriety and refocus on living a healthy life. For others, it is inappropriate.
⤓ Download Pharmacist Recovery Program handbook
If the board sends you notice offering enrollment in the Pharmacist Recovery Program, it is important to contact us to review your scenario with an experienced pharmacist attorney to understand your options and what is best for you.
- New controlled substance prescribing and reporting rules – 1/1/2021
- Pharmacy Law changes for 2023
- Pending Board of Pharmacy regulations
- Pharmacy Board information for licensees
- Guide to pharmacy license criminal record changes (AB-2138)
- Pharmacy Sunset Review report 2020
Experienced pharmacist lawyers
When your reputation and career are at risk, there is no substitute for experience and knowledge of the administrative law system and tactics you are facing. Chudnovsky Law attorneys Robert Weinberg, Suzanne Crouts, and Melissa DuChene have more than 65 years experience representing Board of Pharmacy licensees in license defense, investigations, DEA, federal, and state criminal defense matters. They have handled thousands of investigations, cases, trials, and administrative hearings.
Chudnovsky Law is rated Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, an honor given only given to an elite group of firms for demonstrating exceptional skills and qualifications in the practice of law. Our attorneys have the experience to proficiently handle your case and investigators while protecting your pharmacy license and rights.
We invite you to read client testimonials to learn more about how we have helped other health care professional facing board discipline. A dedication to client service and delivering results has made Chudnovsky Law amongst the top-rated pharmacy license defense attorneys in California:
- 5 Star Rating by Martindale
- 5 Star Rating by Lawyers.com
- 5 Star Rating on Google
- 5 Star Rating on Findlaw
- 10.0 Superb Rating on Avvo
To speak with an attorney about your case and see if we are the best pharmacy license attorneys for you, call us at (844) 325-1444.
“This firm recently helped us with a defense matter. My sister had a pharmacist license issue. Robert and Tsion got the investigation closed and dismissed with the pharmacy board. Their followup was always timely and they did a great job of answering questions and explaining everything. I can recommend Chudnovsky Law if you need help with any professional license issue.”
“Thank you Melissa for always be responsive and helping me through everything. You’re a great listener, always positive and supportive. Even though we were dealing with covid, I felt like I got a personal experience, and an excellent outcome on my case. I am ready to move on from this and couldn’t have done it without you!”
“This is my opinion of Mr. Weinberg based on my experience hiring him. He is very straightforward and let me know the possibilities and various ways things could play out. It was clear the investigators and prosecutors respect him. He’s very experienced in law as well as license defense strategies. I genuinely felt he cared about me and my family and had our best interests at heart. He did a great job keeping me in the loop with status updates every step of the way in my professional license defense case. I can highly recommend him as your defense attorney.”
When looking for a pharmacist license defense attorney near me, please note we represent pharmacists in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Sacramento County, Contra Costa County, and all of California:
Los Angeles County: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Baldwin Park, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Canoga Park, Carson, Cerritos, Chatsworth, Compton, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Downtown Los Angeles, El Monte, El Segundo, Encino, Gardena, Glendora, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Inglewood, La Canada-Flintridge, La Habra, La Mirada, Lakewood, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, North Hollywood, Northridge, Norwalk, Pacoima, Palmdale, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Rancho San Fernando, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, South Pasadena, Sylmar, Tarzana, Thousand Oaks, Toluca Lake, Torrance, Van Nuys, Venice, Walnut, West Covina, West Hollywood, Whittier and Woodland Hills.
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Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.
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Riverside County: Riverside, Moreno Valley, Corona, Temecula, Murrieta, Jurupa Valley, Indio, Hemet, Perris, Palm Desert and Palm Springs. | San Bernardino County: San Bernardino, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Victorville, Rialto, Hesperia, Chino, Upland, Apple Valley and Redlands. | San Diego County: San Diego, Chula Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Vista, San Marcos, Encinitas and National City.
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Santa Barbara County: Carpinteria, Gaviota, Goleta, Isla Vista, Lompoc, Los Olivos, Montecito, Orcutt, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Solvang, and UC Santa Barbara. | Ventura County: Camarillo, Fillmore, Simi Valley, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura.
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Alameda County: Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro, Union City. | Alpine County: Alpine Village. | Amador County: Ione, Jackson, Plymouth, Sutter Creek. | Butte County: Oroville, Chico, Durham, Gridley, Magalia, Oroville, Oroville East, Palermo, Paradise, South Oroville, Thermalito. | Calaveras County: Angels Camp, Arnold, Copperopolis, Rancho Calaveras, San Andreas, Valley Springs. | Colusa County: Arbuckle, Colusa, Maxwell, Williams. | Contra Costa County: Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, El Cerrito, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Oakley, Orinda, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Richmond, San Pablo, San Ramon, Walnut Creek. | Del Norte County: Crescent City, Bertsch-Oceanview, Klamath. | El Dorado County: Cameron Park, Diamond Springs, El Dorado Hills, Placerville, Pollock Pines, Shingle Springs, South Lake Tahoe.
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Fresno County: Clovis, Coalinga, Fresno, Reedley, Sanger, Selma. | Glenn County: Hamilton City, Orland, Willows. | Humboldt County: Arcata, Cutten, Eureka, Fortuna, Humboldt Hill, McKinleyville, Myrtletown, Ridgewood. | Imperial County: Brawley, Calexico, Calipatria, El Centro, Imperial, Salton City. | Inyo County: Big Pine, Bishop, Lone Pine, West Bishop. | Kern County: Arvin, Bakersfield, California City, Delano, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi, Wasco. | Kings County: Avenal, Concoran, Hanford, Lemoore, Lemoore Station. | Lake County:Clearlake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake Riviera, Kelseyville, Lakeport, Lucerne, North Lakeport. | Lassen County: Janesville, Susanville, Westwood. | Madera County: Ahwahnee, Bonadelle Ranchos, Chowchilla, Coarsegold, Madera, Madera Acres, Madera Ranchos, Yosemite Lakes. | Marin County: Corte Madera, Larkspur, Marin, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito. | Mariposa County: Lake Don Pedro, Mariposa, Midpines, Yosemite Valley. | Mendocino County: Brooktrails, Fort Bragg, Redwood City, Ukiah, Willits. | Merced County:Atwater, Dehli, Dos Palos, Franklin, Gustine, Livingston, Los Banos, Merced, Winton. | Modoc County: Alturas, California Pines. | Mono County: Crowley Lake, Mammoth Lakes.
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Monterey County: Carmel Valley, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Castroville, Gonzales, Greenfield, King City, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Salinas, Seaside, Soledad. | Napa County: American Canyon, Calistoga, Napa, St Helena, Yountville. | Nevada County: Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Nevada City, Truckee. | Placer County: Auburn, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Loomis, North Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville. | Plumas County: Chester, East Quincy, Portola, Quincy. | Sacramento County: Antelope, Arden-Arcade, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Fair Oaks, Florin, Folsom, Foothill Farms, Galt, North Highlands, Orangeville, Rancho Cordova, Rosemont, Sacramento, Vineyard. | San Benito County: Aromas, Hollister, Ridgemark.
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San Francisco County: Bayview, Chinatown, Japan Town, Mission District, Pacific Heights, Richmond District, San Francisco, Stonestown, Sunset District, Union Square. | San Joaquin County: Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton, Tracy. | San Luis Obispo County: Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo. | San Mateo County: Belmont, Burlingame, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco.
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Santa Clara County: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale. | Santa Cruz County: Aptos, Ben Lomond, Capitola, Interlaken, Live Oak, Rio Del Mar, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Soquel, Watsonville. | Shasta County: Anderson, Bella Vista, Cottonwood, Happy Valley, Palo Cedro, Redding, Shasta Lake. | Sierra County: Loyalton, Sierra Brooks. | Siskiyou County: Dunsmuir, Lake Shastina, Mount Shasta, Weed, Yreka. | Solano County: Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo. | Sonoma County:Healdsberg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Windsor. | Stanislaus County: Ceres, Modesto, Oakdale, Patterson, Riverbank, Salida, Turlock. | Sutter County: Live Oak, Sutter, Yuba City. | Tehama County:Corning, Lake California, Los Molinos, Red Bluff. | Trinity County: Hayfork, Lewiston, Post Mountain, Weaverville. | Tulare County: Dinuba, Exeter, Farmersville, Lindsay, Porterville, Tulare, Woodlake, Visalia. | Tuolumne County: Jamestown, Mono Vista, Phoenix Lake, Sonora. | Yolo County: Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland. | Yuba County: Linda, Loma Rica, Marysville, Olivehurst, Plumas Lake, Wheatland.
This information does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for individual case consultation and research. No representations are made as to the accuracy of this information and appropriate legal counsel should be consulted before taking any actions. Contact us for a consultation regarding your case to see if we are the best California State Board of Pharmacy license defense attorney for you.
Written by Robert Weinberg, Melissa DuChene, and Suzanne Crouts.