There is an increasing number of suspension orders served by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that have resulted in the suspension of DEA registrations. There have also been a variety of related orders issued, such as orders to show cause as to why a DEA registration shouldn’t be revoked. This has been born out of criminal charges against health care organizations across the United States. These incidents have resulted in the arrest of doctors, staff and sometimes patients after pain management clinics and even some pharmacies were shut down.
Task forces have been developed in coordination with multiple agencies that often include the DEA, the police department and the Attorney General’s Office for the state where the health care facility is located. A multi-agency task force will usually conduct what they call inspections or site visits that result in arrests after search and seizure.
There are a list of often abused over the counter medications and prescriptions that are tracked by pharmaceutical companies, including manufacturers and distributors. Some of the medications of particular interest and concern by the DEA include Xanax, oxycodone, Percocet and hydrocodone, to name a few. In the event that orders placed for medications are much larger than what’s usual, there’s a good chance that the manufacturer will report the purchaser to the DEA, whether it’s a pharmacy or physician.
There are a variety of other reasons why a raid might take place, but it’s most often because a series of complaints have been made. Enough complaints can eventually result in search and seizure, but that usually only happens when an investigation has been in the works for a significant amount of time. In addition to notices received from pharmaceutical manufacturers, sometimes local law enforcement agencies, businesses in the area and even family members will file a complaint with the DEA if they believe something untoward is occurring.
As previously mentioned, there’s a distinct possibility that DEA registration will be suspended and revoked if the doctor and staff are arrested. The same applies to the arrest of a pharmacist. The timeframe in which the suspension or revocation takes places will vary. That decision is something that often determined in advance as the priority is executing the arrest warrants.
If your DEA registration number is suspended, medications in the facility will be automatically seized by the DEA and removed from the premises. In the event of a raid, it’s not uncommon for a significant amount of money to be loss. The only way it won’t happen is if there is another person that’s licensed and can acquire custody of the medications. This isn’t usually an option that’s considered in the midst of a raid.
If you are arrested due to a raid, it’s important to contact your criminal defense attorney for immediate consultation given the seriousness of the situation. They will guide you through critical legal aspects of the situation that have the potential to impact you during administrative and criminal proceedings in the future. They can also assist you with managing the issue of your DEA registration.
You will likely be asked by more than one entity within the task force to voluntarily relinquish your DEA registration, which is not something that you should even consider. Even if you’re told that you can apply for a new DEA registration later, do not give up your current registration. Keep in mind that anytime you relinquish a pharmacy or medical license as a result of an arrest or a related matter, there is very little chance of you receiving another one in the future.