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Hoang v. California State Board of Pharmacy

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Third Division

September 12, 2014

TUE NGOC HOANG, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
CALIFORNIA STATE BOARD OF PHARMACY, Defendant and Respondent.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 450

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court of Orange County No. 30-2013-00653422, Kirk H. Nakamura, Judge.

COUNSEL

The Amin Law Group, Ismail Amin, Saehwa Kang, and Katherine J. Vescera for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Alfredo Terrazas, Assistant Attorney General, Linda K. Schneider and Marichelle S. Tahimic, Deputy Attorneys General, for Defendant and Respondent.

OPINION

RYLAARSDAM, ACTING P. J.

Plaintiff Tue Ngoc Hoang, a pharmacist doing business as Orange Pharmacy (Orange), appeals from a judgment denying his petition for a writ of mandate. The petition sought to overturn a decision by defendant California State Board of Pharmacy revoking plaintiff’s pharmacy license and Orange’s permit to operate a pharmacy. Plaintiff argues defendant’s decision was unduly harsh, not supported by the findings, and denied him due process. We disagree and affirm the judgment.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiff held a pharmacy license issued by defendant and was doing business as Orange under a permit defendant issued to it. As Orange’s

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pharmacist-in-charge, plaintiff was responsible for the pharmacy’s compliance with the laws and regulations concerned with the operation of the business. (Bus. & Prof. Code, § 4113, subd. (c).)

In November 2007, defendant filed an “Accusation, ” seeking to discipline plaintiff. The Accusation contained five counts. Four related to alleged unlawful and improperly documented drug transfers with another pharmacy.

A fifth count alleged plaintiff had engaged in dishonest, fraudulent or deceitful conduct. The Accusation alleged that during 2005 and 2006, Orange was not authorized to receive payments from CalOptima, an entity administering Medi-Cal benefits in Orange County, for filling qualified patients’ drug prescriptions. Orange nonetheless unlawfully received nearly $150, 000 in CalOptima payments through a covert arrangement with another pharmacy named Pacific Pharmacy (Pacific).

An administrative law judge (ALJ) conducted a three-day hearing on the Accusation. Plaintiff appeared through counsel, but did not personally attend the hearing. The ALJ issued a proposed decision finding the unlawful drug transfer and documentation allegations unsupported by the evidence, but that Orange engaged in “dishonest conduct” ...


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