The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) takes a hard line on prescribing, distribution and dispensing of narcotics, opioids in particular. Many physicians have been caught in the DEA’s crosshairs, forcing them to justify that the prescribing of these painkillers is legitimate.
While that’s not to say there are no bad actors, many healthcare professionals, as a result of innocent mistakes, likely will find themselves on the other end of a DEA investigation at one time or another. The inspection may be routine, or the result of a complaint. If it is determined that you have violated the Controlled Substances Act, this can lead to, not only an administrative action against your DEA registration, but also to criminal prosecution.
The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale represents clients in DEA registrations, audits, investigations, DEA registration revocation hearings, orders to show cause and related matters. Our firm has represented clients in a variety of cases working closely with prosecutors and other agencies to ensure you get the best defense possible.
Given the current regulatory climate, manufacturers, wholesalers, physicians, pharmacists, pain management clinics and others involved in the prescribing, dispensing and distribution of controlled substances need a team of attorneys who have the skill, knowledge and experience to deal with DEA audits and investigations.
DEA inspections, or audits, begin at the time a Form 82 (Notice of Inspection of Controlled Premises) or an administrative inspection warrant is presented to the registrant. At that point, the DEA registrant must give informed consent before the audit or inspection can take place. This consent basically states that you have the right not to have an administrative inspection, that if you go through with the inspection then incriminating information can be used against you in a criminal prosecution, and that if you agree to the inspection it’s done voluntarily.
You can withhold consent by refusing to sign or withdraw consent at any time during the inspection if you feel uncomfortable with how things are proceeding. By doing so, investigators must leave and return with an administrative inspection warrant or a search warrant from a federal magistrate.
After an inspection, a DEA agent may request that you surrender your controlled substance registration even if the violation doesn’t warrant such a measure.
Even if you believe you have done nothing wrong, it’s always best to consult with an attorney before signing and agreeing to an inspection, surrendering your DEA registration, or allowing other DEA enforcement action to be taken.
Many cases can be resolved through proper negotiation with the assistance of legal counsel. Our team of highly experienced and knowledgeable attorneys can assist you from the moment you become the subject of a DEA inspection or audit. Give us a call at 305-358-4500.