Advocate, attorney, educator — Tony J. Park ’96, PharmD, JD, assistant clinical professor of pharmacy practice, fills a critical niche as a pharmacist lawyer.
As a doctor of pharmacy student at Pacific he was mentored by Richard R. Abood, JD, professor emeritus of pharmacy practice. “In 1995, Dr. Abood allowed me to take an independent study course in pharmacy law with him, on the specific subject of drug products liability,” said Dr. Park. “From this experience, a spark of possibility in the area pharmacy law ignited in my mind. I attribute my current profession as a pharmacist lawyer to his encouragement and inspiration to do something out of the ordinary.”
Dr. Park earned his juris doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. “As one of the very few pharmacist-attorneys in California, I represent individuals and entities that are subject to government scrutiny: the California State Board of Pharmacy, the Department of Health Care Services, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and others” he said.
In 2012, Dr. Park created his law firm, California Pharmacy Lawyers, in which he currently serves as its principal attorney. “I legally represent and counsel Californian pharmacists when attacked by the state or federal government, threatening the right to practice pharmacy,” Dr. Park said. As general counsel for the California Pharmacists Association, he works with the association to defend and promote the pharmacy profession within the legislative process when creating or reacting to new state and federal legislation and regulations. He also serves as legal counsel for the California Korean American Pharmacists. “As a legislative advocate, I work with elected officials and industry leaders to enact laws that use every health care dollar as efficiently as possible,” he said.
“From this experience, a spark of possibility in the area pharmacy law ignited in my mind. I attribute my current profession as a pharmacist lawyer to Dr. Abood’s encouragement and inspiration to do something out of the ordinary.”
Dr. Park is also passionate about helping current and future pharmacists navigate through the legal complexities of their profession. “As an educator, I teach future pharmacists about the many legal and ethical challenges that they will face in health care,” said Dr. Park. “I love teaching my Pharmacy Law and Ethics class because I find that Pacific pharmacy students are highly motivated and energized to learn,” said Dr. Park. “They engage in meaningful in-class discussions on all aspects of pharmacy operational compliance and regulations.”
“I also teach current pharmacists, technicians and business owners how to proactively ensure compliance with all state and federal laws in the highly regulated industry of prescription drugs,” he said. Dr. Park is a regular presenter at annual New Drugs and Modern Concepts in Pharmacotherapy continuing education program hosted by University of the Pacific.
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold