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Regulator begins pilot program for non-disciplinary infractions against pharmacies


From Illinois Business Journal news services

CHICAGO – The state is easing disciplinary actions regarding small infractions by pharmacies, saying past efforts have been unfairly burdensome on licensees.

To increase regulatory compliance while reducing legal costs and regulatory burdens for licensed pharmacies, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said Monday it has launched a Pharmacy Citation System Pilot Program.

Under the new initiative, non-disciplinary citations will be issued for minor pharmacy infractions, such as failure to display current licenses in conspicuous locations or food and/or beverage found in undesignated areas.

Historically, minor pharmacy violations such as these have triggered complete formal disciplinary processes, which are burdensome for both licensees and the agency itself, and divert attention and resources from more significant matters of public safety.

“By streamlining minor pharmacy violations, IDFPR can effect a faster, smarter and more accountable regulatory experience,” said Bryan Schneider, IDFPR secretary. “It is our belief that the Pharmacy Citation System Pilot Program will afford a significant savings of time and a better allocation of resources for both our licensed pharmacists and IDFPR staff. By issuing non-disciplinary monetary fines for minor infractions, our investigators will gain the means to spend more time in the field on more substantive matters that pose a greater risk to the health, safety and welfare of the public.”

Yash Patel, Illinois State Board of Pharmacy chairperson, is “excited for this change, as it represents a common sense approach to handling minor pharmacy infractions that are needlessly vetted through IDFPR’s formal disciplinary procedures.

By enacting this change, regulatory burdens for pharmacists will be reduced without any compromise to the high standards patients have come to expect.”

IDFPR’s Pharmacy Citation System Pilot Program began on Feb. 15, and will operate for a trial period until August 2016.

IDFPR is one of the first regulatory agencies in the United States to implement a pilot program for minor disciplinary infractions.

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