Case Result: Provider's License and Reputation Preserved After Diversion Allegation and Failed Drug Test

Professional:
Pharmacists 

Primary issue:
A highly regarded provider faced an investigation due to an alleged diversion of facility medication and a subsequent employer ordered drug screen that returned positive results for an illicit substance. The investigation was triggered after the provider, following standard emergency protocols at the facility, temporarily misplaced but then returned an unopened container of the medication. The situation escalated when a routine drug screen reportedly indicated drug use, raising concerns of impairment.

Argument:
Our defense focused on challenging the validity of the drug test and the workplace’s adherence to its drug testing policies and the Florida Drug Free Workplace Act. We highlighted the lack of reasonable suspicion for the drug test, as the pharmacist had reported the medication discrepancy and followed all proper procedures, making his conduct non-suspicious. As a provider, your privacy rights are abridged by law, but not erased; and where there is no reasonable suspicion, we maintained it is an improper violation of the provider’s privacy interests to subject him to an unjustified drug test. Even more crucially, we discovered and raised the facility’s failure to maintain adequate chain of custody procedures for the drug test, which compromised the integrity of the test results. Under these circumstances, defective documentation is more than a mere technicality; imperfectly documented chain of custody procedures make it impossible to prove that given results even belonged to a given provider. Our position is that such evidence is inadequate, and that Florida’s caregivers deserve better. By law, although to a lesser extent than in criminal proceedings, even a licensing defendant is lawfully entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

Result:
From a strong position, we negotiated an amicable resolution that allowed the provider to voluntarily separate from his then employer without any specific reason being documented, and in a manner which preempted any formal investigation or disciplinary action by the Department of Health. This outcome preserved the provider’s license and professional reputation, enabling him to secure immediate employment elsewhere in his field, without any blemish on his disciplinary record.

Areas of Law:
Healthcare Professional Licensing Defense
Drug Diversion Accusation Defense

Attorney:
Joseph Iennaco

Disclaimer:
This information is a sample of our past results. Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results. Every case is different, and each case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits. The circumstances of your case may differ from the results provided. The information provided has not been reviewed or approved by the State Bar.

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