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How Can Pharmacists Protect Their Rights in a DEA Raid?

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Illinois DEA Raid Attorney

Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that medications are dispensed safely and appropriately. When pharmacies dispense controlled substances to patients, they may face scrutiny by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). If the DEA believes that a pharmacy has engaged in drug diversion, it may perform an investigation, or DEA agents and other law enforcement officials may even conduct a raid of a pharmacy in order to uncover evidence of wrongdoing. In these situations, pharmacists may be unsure about the steps they can take to protect themselves, their rights, and their businesses. By understanding what to do before, during, and after a DEA raid, pharmacists can take steps to avoid serious consequences that could affect their DEA registration, their pharmacy licenses, and their ability to continue operating.

Steps to Take Before a DEA Raid Occurs

One of the best ways pharmacists can protect themselves is to understand their rights beforehand and ensure that they are following the correct procedures. Pharmacists should familiarize themselves with relevant laws related to controlled substances, as well as state pharmacy board regulations. It is also important to maintain proper records and follow procedures to prevent the misuse of controlled substances. Detailed inventories should be performed, including keeping records of expired medications. Pharmacists should also watch for signs of illicit prescriptions, such as forged prescriptions, prescriptions issued for medically unnecessary purposes, patients who pay in cash or travel long distances to fill prescriptions, or failure to follow prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).

Steps to Take During a DEA Raid

When faced with a DEA raid, it is important for pharmacists to remain calm and respectful throughout the process and avoid escalating the situation. They can protect their rights by doing the following:

  • Remain silent until they have consulted with an attorney. Do not answer questions posed by agents unless instructed do to so by a lawyer.

  • Verify documents authorizing the raid. Pharmacists are not required to consent to any searches without a valid warrant or court order. They have the right to verify all documents before allowing access or providing any information requested by DEA agents.

  • Record everything that happens during an investigation or raid, including the names of DEA agents or other officials, the questions that were asked, and the documents that were examined or seized. This information can be useful when filing complaints against agents who may have violated a pharmacist's rights during an investigation.

  • Take photos or videos of any evidence taken from a pharmacy by DEA agents. This helps establish an accurate record of what records were involved in the investigation.

  • Write down any statements made by investigators regarding their suspicions as well as any information about how long they plan to keep evidence seized from a pharmacy.

  • Do not voluntarily surrender a DEA registration, even if agents indicate that this will result in leniency. It can be very difficult to reinstate a DEA registration that has been voluntarily surrendered.

Contact Our Illinois DEA Raid Attorney

A DEA raid can be intimidating and overwhelming for pharmacists. Fortunately, pharmacists can take steps ahead of time to protect their rights in the event of a DEA investigation or raid. By understanding what they should do before, during, and after a DEA raid, pharmacists can ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable laws while avoiding penalties that may affect their businesses. At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, Inc., our Illinois DEA investigation defense lawyer can assist with these matters and provide representation for pharmacists who may need to defend against the loss of their DEA registration. To set up a free consultation, contact us today by calling 630-310-1267.


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