Latebreakers: Tenn. medical board fines R.Ph. $1 million

October 22, 2007

A pharmacist and health food store owner challenges the ruling by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners that he was improperly acting as a doctor when he recommended OTCs for diseases

A Tennessee pharmacist is challenging in court a $1 million fine and the decision of the state Board of Medical Examiners that he practiced medicine without a license. In May, the board ruled that Larry Rawdon, R.Ph., owner of Osa's Garden, a health food store in Hohenwald, Tenn., had improperly provided care to more than 10,000 patients since 1995. While some pharmacists have worried the ruling would have a chilling effect on pharmacy consultations, Baeteena M. Black, D.Ph., executive director of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, cautioned that the case is very unique. "The fact that he is a pharmacist is incidental," she insisted. "His store was very different from most pharmacies in Tennessee."