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How Should I Respond to a DEA Order to Show Cause?

 Posted on July 04,2024 in DEA

Illinois DEA investigation defense attorneyMedical providers and pharmacists who handle controlled substances must comply with strict regulations to maintain registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). If the DEA suspects that someone has committed violations such as unlawful prescribing or unlawful dispensing of controlled substances, it may perform an investigation. If the DEA believes that a person has violated the law or engaged in drug diversion, it may take action to suspend or revoke a controlled substance registration and issue an Order to Show Cause.

Understanding how to respond to such an order is crucial, since the loss of a DEA registration may affect a person’s ability to practice. An experienced attorney can provide representation in these situations, helping medical professionals take steps to defend against the loss of a controlled substance registration.

When Does the DEA Investigate Medical Providers or Pharmacists?

The DEA may perform investigations due to issues such as:

  • Suspicious prescribing patterns: A provider who prescribes unusually high volumes of controlled substances may be investigated.

  • Recordkeeping violations: Inaccurate or incomplete records of controlled substances stored and dispensed at a medical practice or pharmacy may trigger investigations.

  • Diversion of controlled substances: Allegations that controlled substances are being diverted for non-medical uses may lead to investigations of drug distribution or drug trafficking.

  • Compliance issues: Providers who fail to comply with state and federal regulations governing controlled substances may face investigations.

Reasons for DEA Action Against Controlled Substance Registration

The DEA may take action to suspend or revoke a controlled substance registration for several reasons, such as:

  • Falsification of application: If a person provides false information on a DEA registration application, their registration may be revoked.

  • Felony convictions: A person who is convicted of offenses related to controlled substances may lose their DEA registration.

  • Suspension or revocation of state license: If a medical provider's or pharmacist’s license is suspended or revoked, the DEA may take action to prevent them from prescribing or dispensing controlled substances.

  • Public health risks: Providers who pose a risk to public health and safety due to issues such as substance abuse or medical malpractice may face DEA suspensions or revocations.

Understanding the Order to Show Cause

An Order to Show Cause is a formal notice from the DEA stating its intent to suspend or revoke a medical provider’s or pharmacist's registration. The order outlines the specific allegations and the legal basis for the proposed action. The recipient must respond to the order within 30 days, and can either request an administrative hearing or submit a written statement. Failure to respond to an order within 30 days will most likely result in the suspension or revocation of a controlled substance registration.

Steps to Defend Against the Loss of DEA Registration

Receiving an Order to Show Cause can be daunting, but with the help of an attorney who has experience in these types of cases, providers can take action to address the allegations and prevent the loss of their controlled substance registration. Necessary steps include:

  1. Review the order carefully: Fully understanding the specific charges and evidence can ensure that a provider will be able to respond correctly.

  2. Request a hearing: A formal request may be submitted to ensure that a hearing is held before an Administrative Law Judge. The request must be submitted before the deadline to avoid waiving the right to a hearing.

  3. Gather evidence: An attorney can help collect relevant records, such as prescription logs, patient records, and compliance documents. An attorney may also determine whether it would be helpful to have expert witnesses provide testimony to support a provider’s defense.

  4. Attend the hearing: A lawyer can ensure that a comprehensive case is presented, including witness testimony and documentary evidence. They can also cross-examine DEA witnesses and challenge the evidence.

  5. Post-hearing actions: Following the decisions made at a hearing, a provider must implement any required compliance measures to address concerns and demonstrate a commitment to adhering to regulations. If the DEA chooses to suspend or revoke a registration, an attorney can help determine the options for appealing the decision.

Contact Our Illinois DEA Registration Defense Lawyer

Responding to a DEA Order to Show Cause requires swift and strategic action to protect your controlled substance registration, your professional license, and your reputation. At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, Inc., our Chicago DEA Order to Show Cause attorney provides strong representation in these cases. Contact us at 630-310-1267 to set up a free consultation and get the legal help you need to defend your DEA registration.

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