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Health Care Practitioners and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Investigations
DEA refers to an organization of the government that was granted authority under the federal 1970 Act of Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control. The Act gives DEA the obligation to take charge of controlled substances and their distribution. Such substances opioids (hydrocodone, codeine, Fentanyl, morphine and hydromorphone); amphetamines (Adderall and Ritalin); benzodiazepines (Versed/midazolam, Valium/diazepam, Ativan/lorazepam, Xanax/alprazolam), opiates and other certain drugs such as Ambien and Soma/Carisoprodol.
The agency is also charged with the mandate of managing substances through the registration of healthcare professionals that distribute them. Some of the practitioners that require the Drug Enforcement Agency registration certificate include dentists, pharmacies, veterinarians, physicians and physician assistants as well as advanced practice nurses, for instance, NPs.
For initial registration with DEA, healthcare professionals need the attorney’s services whenever they are subject to investigations, being targeted by inspection that may lead to intended submission or a show-cause order has been issued to them. The Leichter Law Firm PC Drug Enforcement Agency attorneys for investigation are experienced in every aspect of the process. The
Drug Enforcement Agency Inspections
To carry out an inspection on premises agents of DEA obtain an inspection notice or an administrative warrant. However, it is unfortunate that agents often intimidate holders of registration and forcefully enter their premises to inspect with no authority legally, disobeying this procedure.
When the DEA inspection is done, the agency will require the licensee to voluntarily submit their registration for controlled substance. Licensees who are not enlightened on their rights under the Act may see this as unnecessary pressure to surrender their registration. Normally this violation leads to no surrender and is then resolved by settlement negotiations. Furthermore, voluntarily surrendering your DEA registration for controlled substance will adversely affect your Texas DPS registration for controlled substance.
The Need of a Lawyer
It is advisable that holders of registration for controlled substance consult with an experienced DEA attorney before surrendering their DEA controlled substance registration. DEA agents are required to present an Inspection Notice or Form 82 to you to inspect your premises. Whatever practitioners are not able to realize is that they may refuse to give their consent to inspection notice by not signing the form. If you do not sign Form 82, the agency is not allowed to come back unless they obtain a warrant for search or inspection.
Consenting to a search or inspection limits the DEA to what is outlined to be done. For instance, the agency is given authority to copy, inspect as well as verify the accuracy of the records that are required but they are not allowed to review and correct information that is sensitive, for example, patient charts and financial records. As a healthcare practitioner, you may have not been aware of your right to fail to consent to the inspection form, the right to guard and protect sensitive data as well as the other healthcare practitioners’ rights.
You may be confused about what next you need to do if the agency and your practice as a healthcare practitioner put you in a difficult situation. If you are not aware of your legal rights accorded to you by the Act you may easily surrender your registration for controlled substance.
You should, however, not be intimidated to surrender the registration if the agency has not followed the right protocol for inspection of your premise. A knowledgeable agency attorney will take you through all the situations in which DEA is wrong in such a legally complicated situation. The agency attorney is aware of your rights and he/she is your advocate for you to be accorded them.
Expectations from the Agency Inspector and How to Prepare for Them
On visiting your practice, the first thing an inspector should do is to identify themselves normally with a badge, if they don’t, then you can file a case against the inspector. Secondly, the agent should be able to present the inspection form or Form 82. Furthermore, it is not a must for you to sign this form. Some inspectors may claim to come back with a warrant if you fail to consent to the inspection form.
The inspector will then ask you to give them some information, for instance:
If the inspection has no warrant, it is not a must for you to consent. Nevertheless, if you agree, you are required to notify the waivered physicians of the agency for auditing. Furthermore, prepare for an inspection by ensuring all the required documentation is easily accessible and compliant.
Members of staff in your healthcare practice are allowed to oversee the agency inspection, therefore train some of them to observe the agency inspection. If the DEA learns that everyone understands everything about DEA inspections, they may not trick or intimidate your workers into giving them the information they should not.
The realization that your staff are aware of your rights and the dos and don’ts of inspectors keeps them in check and makes sure that they abide by the Act’s rules.
Why Spodek Law Should Handle Your Case
At our law firm, we boast many attorneys with proved combined experience in assisting healthcare practitioners to get justice against Drug Enforcement Agency inspectors.
We have helped clients like you to win complex cases, for more insights, see our client reviews and testimonials or visit our results page. For a free consultation, contact us today.
Get in Touch with a DEA Lawyer Now
Spodek Law Group will help you if you have gone through the DEA inspection and told to surrender your registration. We can defend you regarding your registration if the DEA did not follow all the required protocols at all stages. We possess the experience and knowledge required to aid you to get justice.