Colorado Board of Pharmacy-Attorneys, Lawyers and Legal Counsel
|Licensing Board||Colorado State Board of Pharmacy|
|Address, Physical||1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202|
|Address, Mail||1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202|
|Telephone No.||(303) 894-7800|
|Fax No.||(303) 894-7692|
Investigating Agency for Colorado Board of Pharmacy
|Agency||Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of
Professions and Occupations
|Address, Physical||1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202|
|Address, Mail||1560 Broadway, Suite 1350, Denver, CO 80202|
|Telephone No.||(303) 894-7599|
|Fax No.||(303) 894-5940|
The Colorado State Board of Pharmacy regulates the practice of pharmacy in the state of Colorado. All complaints, investigations and legal negotiations for this board are usually handled by investigators, attorneys and staff members of the Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Professions and Occupations located at the address above or a field office.
Our attorneys routinely represent pharmacists and pharmacies. This includes full advice and assistance during the investigation, including obtaining and filing statements and other evidence that may be necessary, hearing preparation and hearing representation as further discussed below.
Remember these important points before hiring anyone for representation on a Colorado pharmacy complaint:
Be reluctant to submit a written statement signed by yourself during the initial investigation. Such statements can and will be used against you to prove the case against you, if you have a hearing. In some states, such as Florida, you cannot be required to make such statements; the Fifth Amendment protects you in such a situation. However, other states require a signed statement from you. Be sure you know.
Be cautious about selecting an informal hearing instead of a formal hearing. If you select an informal hearing, this means you are not contesting the charges against you, you are admitting them (or admitting you are guilty), and the hearing will only allow you to address the amount of punishment you receive.
If you are not guilty, desire to have the state prove the case against you if it has evidence to do so, and will be allowed to defend yourself, you should select a formal hearing.
Be very careful about accepting a Settlement Agreement (“SA”), Consent Order (“CO”), or Stipulated Consent Order (“SCO”), as it means you are pleading guilty and will have discipline on your license for the rest of your life.
If you have malpractice insurance, it probably contains professional license defense coverage that will pay for your legal defense expenses in the case. Don’t waste a valuable benefit you have paid for. Retain an attorney who accepts your insurance at the very first notice of a complaint.
Remember in Colorado there is no such thing as going before the Board of Pharmacy and proving you are innocent. However, if you are going before the Board of Pharmacy because of a complaint, you are almost always either doing it as an informal hearing (in which you have admitted the charges) or as part of a Settlement Agreement/Consent Order in which you have agreed to accept discipline on your license. In the event of a formal hearing before the board, you should have legal representation. In either case, you are going to have discipline on your license for the rest of your life. Make sure you know for sure what the procedures are in this state so that you do not inadvertently give up your rights.
Our attorneys are licensed only in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, but we are authorized to represent you in these matters in many of the other states listed above under the state’s multi-jurisdictional practice rules for attorneys; we may apply for special admission privileges under the state’s pro hac vice rules or have to take other such actions to represent you, but we routinely do this.
To contact an attorney with The Health Law Firm for a consultation or representation, click here.
The provision of this information does not constitute the practice of law in this state/jurisdiction nor the advertisement of the practice of law in this state/jurisdiction. This is not the provision of legal advice. Legal advice must be specific to the facts of each individual case. Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be made based on advertising alone. Ask for additional information on the qualifications of any attorney before hiring them. Our attorneys only practice in those states and jurisdictions in which they are licensed to practice law or legally permitted to practice law. An attorney-client relationship can only be formed with our attorneys through payment of a retainer fee and a retainer agreement signed by all parties.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE INVESTIGATION
OF THE COMPLAINT AGAINST YOUR LICENSE BY COLORADO DORA
Following is a list of questions and answers that has been published by the Colorado Department
of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Division of Professions and Occupations. These are being
provided verbatim and have not been changed, even though we, as attorneys defending such
complaints, may disagree with some of them. This is being provided for informational purposed
only and does not constitute legal advice.
For the purposes of this document, the professional board or licensing program regulating a
particular profession is referred to as the “Regulatory Authority” instead of the “Board.”
What is a basis for disciplinary action?
Each profession has a practice act, also known as an organic act or statute. These practice acts
contain laws that govern a particular profession. The legal grounds for disciplinary action against
a particular type of professional are set forth in the applicable practice act.
What is a board or licensing program?
Colorado’s Division of Registrations is responsible for the licensing boards and programs
established by the Colorado Legislature to promote public protection through licensure and
regulation. The Division’s boards and programs regulate more than 50 professions, occupations,
and entities. Most of these professions are regulated by licensing boards comprised of members
of the profession and public members. Some professions are regulated by programs housed within
How does the disciplinary process begin?
The disciplinary process begins when a complaint is filed with the regulatory authority by any
member of the public, or when a regulatory authority initiates a complaint on its own.
What is a complaint?
In the context of a professional disciplinary action, a complaint is an allegation that a licensee,
certificate holder or registrant has violated the laws set forth in the applicable practice act. It is
filed with or initiated by the appropriate regulatory authority, and it marks the beginning of the
disciplinary process against a licensee, certificate holder or registrant.
What happens after the complaint is filed?
The regulatory authority or its staff will review the facts alleged in the complaint to determine
whether, if proven to be true, these facts constitute reasonable cause to believe a violation of the
practice act has occurred. If the initial review determines that the regulatory authority does not
have jurisdiction or that the regulatory authority does not have reasonable cause to believe that a
violation has occurred, the complaint will be dismissed, possibly with a confidential letter of
concern to the licensee, certificate holder or registrant from the regulatory authority.
If the regulatory authority determines that it has reasonable cause to believe a violation of the
practice act has occurred, a letter of admonition may be issued, the matter may be referred for
disciplinary action, the action may be tabled to gather information, or a request may be submitted
for a formal investigation with the Office of Investigations.
What is the Office of Investigations?
Some complaints are investigated internally by the staff for a particular regulatory authority.
However, the regulatory authority may also refer the complaint to the Office of Investigations, a
program within the Division of Registrations, Department of Regulatory Agencies.
If the complaint is forwarded to the Office of Investigations, do I receive notice?
You generally will receive a letter from the individual regulatory authority informing you that your
complaint has been forwarded to the Office of Investigations. In some circumstances, however,
the first contact you have regarding a complaint will be from the investigator assigned to handle
Do I need an attorney at this point?
A license, certificate or registration is an important property interest. It is important to remember
that the regulatory authority, its staff, and the Office of Investigations cannot provide you with
legal advice. You are not required to hire an attorney, but you have the right to be represented
by an attorney at any stage of the proceeding. You are responsible for any costs associated with
hiring an attorney. Your professional liability insurance carrier might provide assistance with
legal costs associated with a professional disciplinary action.
What happens in an investigation?
When a complaint is referred to the Office of Investigations, the assigned investigator acts as an
impartial, fact-finding third party and does not “represent” the complainant, the regulatory
authority, or the licensee, certificate holder or registrant. The Office of Investigations receives
500-600 cases a year. The average time to complete a case is 6 to 8 months depending on the
complexity, witness cooperation and caseload of the investigator.
The investigator normally reviews the complaint and the response, subpoenas or otherwise obtains
copies of pertinent documents or records, interviews witnesses and the licensee, certificate holder
or registrant, and, where appropriate, retains an expert consultant to review the case. The
investigator then prepares a written report that is reviewed by the regulatory authority, which will
then determine whether to pursue disciplinary action. The investigator does not make any
recommendations to the regulatory authority regarding what disciplinary action, if any, to take.
How long does an investigation take?
The time frame to complete an investigation will vary. However, investigators try to process a
complaint within 180 days of receipt of the complaint in the Office of Investigations. At times,
the investigation of a case may take longer than 180 days. You may ask the investigator assigned
to your case for an estimate of when the Report of Investigation will be prepared and presented
to the regulatory authority.
Do I get a copy of the Report of Investigation?
Generally, reports are not available to the public or to the licensee, certificate holder or registrant
during the investigative stage of the proceeding or review process.
Do I get notice of when the regulatory authority will review the Report of Investigation in my
This varies between programs. You may contact the regulatory authority or the investigator to
inquire about the status of the investigation and the dates and locations of any meetings where the
matter might be discussed. Some programs review Reports of Investigation in a closed meeting,
which is not open to the public, including the licensee, certificate holder or registrant. Even if the
disciplinary portion of the meeting is open to the public, generally you will not be permitted to
address the regulatory authority and will only be allowed to listen to the discussion. Please check
with the staff of your program.
Can the public review government documents?
Regulatory authorities are governed by the Colorado Open Records Act, which provides the public
access to certain government documents. Confidentiality requirements vary from program to
program, and the investigator assigned to your case cannot advise you on this topic.
What happens after the regulatory authority reviews the Report of Investigation?
If the regulatory authority finds that no violation occurred or that disciplinary action otherwise is
not warranted, the case will be dismissed. If the regulatory authority finds that disciplinary action
is not warranted, but that it has concerns about the conduct at issue, it may dismiss the case with
a confidential letter of concern. If the regulatory authority finds that a violation occurred, it may
impose discipline, including but not limited to a public letter of admonition, a probationary
license, a suspension or a revocation. Disciplinary cases will be referred to the Office of
Expedited Settlement (ESP) for settlement or the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for formal
prosecution of the matter.
What happens when your case is referred to ESP?
If your case is referred to ESP, you will be contacted by a staff member from ESP who will
provide you with the offer of settlement approved by the regulatory authority. Generally, if a
settlement is not reached within 90 days, the matter will be referred to the Office of Attorney
What happens if the case is referred to the OAG?
If your case is referred to the OAG, the assigned Assistant Attorney General will provide legal
representation to the regulatory authority. The Assistant Attorney General may prepare formal
charges based upon the alleged violations of the practice act. If formal charges are filed, a hearing
will be conducted before an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Courts to
determine whether the charges are proven. At the hearing, you would have the right to be
represented by counsel, and would have the opportunity to present and confront oral and
documentary evidence, and to testify in your own defense.
What happens if, after the hearing, I am found to have committed a violation?
Following the hearing, the administrative law judge will issue an initial decision, which will
include factual findings, conclusions of law and a recommended sanction. Either party may
challenge the initial decision by filing exceptions with the regulatory authority. The regulatory
authority will review the initial decision and issue a final agency order that may adopt, partially
adopt or reverse the initial decision. If a violation of the practice act is established, the final
agency order may impose sanctions, which can include a letter of admonition, a fine, continuing
education, probation, suspension or revocation of your license, certificate or registration. You
have the right to appeal the final agency order to the appropriate court.
[Warning: The above questions and answers are those published by DORA as of July 2021. They
are of general applicability and may or may not apply in your particular circumstances. We
recommend that you always consult with a health lawyer who has experience in defending this type
of matter, before specking with an investigator or anyone else.]