The Drug Enforcement Administration has said that combating the diversion of controlled substances is a top priority. The agency’s stepped-up efforts are designed to ensure that patients are not abusing legitimate controlled substances or that those controlled substances are not being diverted to an illegal drug market. As a result, in recent years the agency has significantly stepped up its enforcement efforts.
Any healthcare provider that prescribes, administers, or dispenses controlled substances must be registered with the DEA. Manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies also must be registered. Every registrant faces the prospect of an inspection at one time or another. Some are routine, others may be prompted by a complaint.
It’s important to note that while diversion investigators may arrive unannounced, the DEA investigator first must present an official Form 82, or a Notice of Inspection to obtain informed consent. What many don’t realize is that they can withhold consent by refusing to sign, or withdraw consent at any time during the inspection if they feel uncomfortable with the inspection. By doing so, investigators must leave and return with an administrative inspection warrant or a search warrant from a federal magistrate.
That doesn’t mean an inspection will not take place in the future, but it will give you time to reach out to legal counsel and get advice. Often legal counsel can find out more about the reason for the DEA’s site visit. This can help in finding ways to mitigate the problem and even work with the DEA to find a resolution.
The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale represents physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare providers facing audits and investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Our team can help you to find solutions to your problems at the start of a DEA investigation – before it’s too late. To learn more about your options, click here.