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DEA Audits and Investigations

April 6, 2022 Federal Criminal Attorneys

What Does the DEA Investigate?

The DEA investigates illegal activity relating to controlled substances. They work to enforce the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and are tasked with investigating illegal drug activity. The CSA was passed by Congress in 1970, and it established the framework for the classification of drugs, which is still used today. It also established a registration process for doctors and pharmacies who dispense controlled substances. The CSA is designed to prevent abuse of opioids and other drugs by making it harder for people to get prescriptions or access to illegal drugs.

The DEA has many tools at its disposal when investigating possible violations of the CSA, including:

Inspection of medical records: The DEA can inspect a doctor’s medical records without a warrant if they have reason to believe that there has been a violation of the CSA. They will be looking for evidence that you have prescribed opioids or other drugs outside of the usual course of medical treatment or in an amount that exceeds what would be considered medically necessary. They will also look for evidence that you have prescribed opioids or other drugs to patients who are not legitimate patients, such as drug dealers or addicts.

The DEA can inspect a doctor’s medical records without a warrant if they have reason to believe that there has been a violation of the CSA. They will be looking for evidence that you have prescribed opioids or other drugs outside of the usual course of medical treatment or in an amount that exceeds what would be considered medically necessary. They will also look for evidence that you have prescribed opioids or other drugs to patients who are not legitimate patients, such as drug dealers or addicts. Undercover operations: The DEA may send undercover agents into your office posing as patients in order to gather information about your prescribing practices. These agents may try to get you to prescribe opioids or other drugs outside of the usual course of medical treatment, and they will be recording your interactions with them in order to build a case against you.

The DEA may send undercover agents into your office posing as patients in order to gather information about your prescribing practices. These agents may try to get you to prescribe opioids or other drugs outside of the usual course of medical treatment, and they will be recording your interactions with them in order to build a case against you. Interviews with employees: The DEA may interview your employees in order to get information about your prescribing practices. Your employees may feel pressured by the DEA into giving information about you that could be used against you in court, so it’s important that you have an attorney present during these interviews if possible.

The DEA may interview your employees in order to get information about your prescribing practices. Your employees may feel pressured by the DEA into giving information about you that could be used against you in court, so it’s important that you have an attorney present during these interviews if possible.

Interviews with patients: The DEA may interview your patients in order to get information about your prescribing practices. Again, these interviews could be used against you in court, so it’s important that you have an attorney present during these interviews if possible.

The DEA may interview your patients in order to get information about your prescribing practices. Again, these interviews could be used against you in court, so it’s important that you have an attorney present during these interviews if possible. Search warrants: If the DEA has probable cause to believe that there has been a violation of the CSA at your office, they may obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to search your office and seize evidence related to the alleged violation.

This evidence could include prescription records, patient files, and computers containing patient information. If the DEA obtains a search warrant for your office, it’s important that you do not try to stop them from executing the warrant – this could result in additional charges being filed against you. Instead, you should call a DEA defense lawyer immediately to intervene.

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DEA Audits and Investigations

June 21, 2019

Aside from routine audits and inspections, a DEA audit can be a concerning matter. A search warrant may be obtained to investigate, or the DEA may request to inspect your facility. As a result of prescription drug abuse, the DEA has stepped up its monitoring and intervention in matters they find problematic. This can mean serious consequences for everyone involved in the process if things don’t add up correctly. Pharmacy store owners, pharmacy managers, pharmacists, and technicians are all held accountable for the monitoring and responsibility of prescription drugs. In most cases, controlled substances are likely to be the target of the investigation. If you’re facing a DEA audit or have received indications that point to an audit being likely, you’ll want to contact a highly skilled attorney to represent you.

How to Determine if You’re Under Consideration for a DEA Audit or Inspection

Since the dea is a federal law enforcement agency, they may be working together with local agencies to investigate the matter. All too often, immunity is given to those who will reveal the source of their supplier when selling prescription drugs illegally. This means that your pharmacy may be unjustly targeted or falsely accused of wrongdoing. Contact with local law enforcement regarding prescription drugs is often a strong indicator that the DEA may also be involved or soon will be. The DEA may also show up with a search warrant indicating that they’ve been given permission to conduct an inspection. Even during a routine DEA Audit and Investigation, they’re able to take legal action if they suspect drug diversion or theft within the pharmacy. If you have a reason to be concerned, it’s always best to get in touch with a federal criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.

The DEA Audits and Investigations Inspection Process and Items the DEA Targets

Recordkeeping plays a critical role in the audit and inspection process. Incomplete records and missing records are red flags to any inspector. They’ll also be looking for clues that might lead to diversionary practices or theft. Having records of all the controlled substances purchased, dispensed, on order, and any thefts are all important. Having the appropriate logbooks, dea forms, and all other information that you’re expected to keep recorded should always be complete and ready for inspection. Other items that raise concern are “ghost” prescriptions and automatic refills of prescriptions that don’t appear to have been received by the patient. Items such as a messy workplace and reports made against your pharmacy are also reasons for the auditors to look further into things. Policies and procedures regarding controlled substances and theft are also important to have on hand. The entire pharmacy staff should also be familiar with these policies if questioned. Should the investigation yield negative results, it’s more than likely that criminal charges will be filed.

The Effects of DEA Audits and Investigations

Since the dea is a federal agency, the effects of being charged with a crime are long-lasting and serious. Aside from losing credentials and licensing, civil penalties may apply as well. A negative DEA outcome can also cause a chain reaction in claims by other parties such as patients, physicians, insurance companies, and the drug companies themselves. Sister state and local penalties may apply as well. This is only a small sampling of the many negative effects a DEA targeted audit and inspection can bring. Attempting to take these matters into your own hands is highly inadvisable for any pharmacy or pharmacist. The courts aren’t sympathetic in these types of cases since they’re regarding a topic that’s highly controversial. If you’ve been notified of an audit or one has recently been initiated, get in touch with our offices for a case review, today.

The DEA is increasingly responding to the opioid epidemic crisis by increasing inspections of DEA registrant businesses, facilities, etc. We believe that if you’re about to get inspected by the DEA, in reality you’re getting audited and must be prepared.

DEA inspections are unannounced and unexpected. They can be overwhelming. Be aware that with any dea administrative inspection, the pharmacy owner will be given a dea notice of inspection to sign. This is a standard notice. It comes with a statement of specific rights, so you know them before you’re inspected.

It’s important before you get inspected, that you know who is requesting the inspection. Ask for photo ID, in addition to credentials. Ask if this is a routine inspection, or if it’s because of a complaint. Also, ask for copy of documents presented for your own records, and ask for a dea 12 form, if any documents or substances are taken from the pharmacy.

During the inspection, pay attention. If Agents are interviewing staff members, or if they’re looking for something specific —- keep note. Ask if any violations were found before Agents leave the pharmacy.

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