Wednesday, May 9, 2012

State Pharmacy, Medical and Veterinary Boards Need to Remain Independent and Objective and Not Promote Individual Agendas

A very good article entitled, When is A State Agency Not a State Agency? written by Dale J. Atkinson, JD, appears in the May 2012 National Association of Board of Pharmacy Newsletter. Atkinson points out that state boards, such as state pharmacy, state medical and state veterinary boards need to not cloud the mission of the board by promoting individual agendas. Members of these board need to remain independent and objective for a number of reason.  This is especially true in the area of compounding.  Here is a portion of the article:
The common law and statutory immunity principles that protect the regulatory boards from liability are essential to the independent and objective operations and decision-making of the boards of pharmacy. Board members must preserve the integrity of the regulatory process by ensuring that decisions made are based upon overall public protection considerations and reflect the collective wisdom of the board as a whole. Individual agendas or professional promotion perspectives cloud the mission of the board and can implicate significant personal and/or pharmacy board scrutiny, which may eventually lead to legal analyses of how and when immunity principles can be propounded. 
Self-regulation, that is governmental regulatory boards being comprised primarily of licensees, is always ripe for allegations of professionals protecting professionals. Such is currently under consideration in the litigation involving the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners which was the subject of a recent NABP Newsletter article (“FTC: Facinorous Teeth Case,” August 2011 NABP Newsletter). Indeed, the immunity principles are front and center to that ongoing case. Further, challenges to the immunity protections of the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners are ongoing and in need of scrutiny.

The full article is available in the May 2012 NABP Newsletter, and reviews a relevant case involving the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners and a former Board employee.

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