DEA Investigations Against Doctors and Pharmacies
If one were to look across the United States, one would see that there has been an increase in drug addiction. Media outlets have been talking about prescription drugs and how easy it is for people to get them even when they don’t see a doctor. Pill mills are the focus of lawmakers as they work to try to get these groups under control and drugs off the streets. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is one of the agencies that has been investigating these mills as well as pharmacies and doctors to try to find out where people are getting so many prescriptions.
Most of the time, the DEA investigates those who produce and sell hard drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. Now, the agency is looking at every day pharmacists who are in drug and retail stores. They are looking at doctors who seem to lead a normal business treating patients but who might be a link for those who are addicted to prescriptions. Some clinics have been under investigation as well.
The fraud associated with prescription medications is not condoned as the agency and lawmakers understand that there is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with, but some of the investigations against doctors and pharmacies could be a bit on the excessive side in some situations. While the DEA believes in justice, some investigations pertaining to prescription fraud begin due to oversights and accidents. These details don’t indicate fraud and are often investigated in a manner that is too harsh.
Since the DEA is part of the federal government, it has quite a bit of authority regarding legal situations. When agents begin talking with doctors and pharmacists, they can sometimes be so overbearing with those who are innocent that it results in people shutting down and not giving any information. In just a matter of a few weeks or months, those who are under investigation could risk losing thier careers because of details that the DEA received that aren’t true.
When an investigation is launched, it’s important to seek legal assistance so that you’re not alone. The attorney you speak with should be knowledgeable about prescription fraud and know of defenses that can be used as well as ways to show that you weren’t involved in any kind of fraudulent activity. The DEA can use statements against you in court if you’re not prepared. Even the smallest details could lead to an investigation, such as information that doesn’t exactly match up on medical records.
Investigations and Searches
A search often requires a warrant before it can be performed. However, an investigation usually doesn’t require anything but a tiny piece of information that could indicate that something is taking place in an illegal fashion. Informed written consent or an administrative warrant are usually all that’s needed to proceed by the DEA. There’s usually little warning that an inspection will begin. If an inspection occurs and leads to an investigation, it could result in losing your medical license, losing your DEA registration, and criminal prosecution.
Becoming a Victim
In most situations, healthcare providers and pharmacists maintain proper records and are often the victims of DEA investigations. They work to keep patients healthy and try to protect them at all costs. There are people who send patients to an office in order to obtian drugs that are then abused. It’s not the doctor’s fault that this happened. However, the DEA could see it as a way that you participated in the act because you wrote the prescription. Investigations could begin due to a limited number of staff in the office or patients who travel from other counties or states to seek medical treatment. These are issues that you usually can’t control but that could trigger the DEA to start asking questions.