When Drug Enforcement Agents Come Knocking

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents from the DEA Diversion Control Program turn up in your office wanting to ask you questions. They announce they have a right to inspect your records without warning. …

Hopefully, this won’t happen to you, but if it does and you are caught off guard, you could end up losing your DEA registration for a couple of years, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. 

That’s why the TMA Office of General Counsel, in its free white paper “DEA Investigations” (log-in required), urges physicians to call their practice’s legal counsel immediately after being approached by DEA. 

Legal counsel will be able to determine:

  • If the investigation is routine or related to a complaint,
  • If you should reschedule the search for another day,
  • Whether to allow DEA agents to talk to staff without advice of counsel,
  • Which records and communication are appropriate for the investigation, and
  • If you should sign a form to voluntarily surrender your controlled substances registration.

It does not reflect adversely on you to ask for time to consult with counsel; to reschedule the investigation; and defer making any decisions, if needed, without advice from counsel, the paper says.

Read the white paper for details and for more guidance about how to handle a DEA investigation. 

Published April 27, 2017

TMA Practice E-Tips main page

Last Updated On

May 02, 2017

Originally Published On

April 27, 2017

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