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Il license defense lawyerMedical providers that prescribe, dispense, or handle controlled substances are required to follow all applicable laws and regulations related to these drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) monitors providers to ensure that controlled substances are being used correctly, and it may take action to address any potential violations of the law. As part of its ongoing efforts, the DEA often conducts audits and inspections, and providers who have received a Notice of Inspection from the DEA will want to understand their rights and how they can protect themselves from consequences that could affect their DEA registration or their professional license.

Understanding DEA Inspections

The DEA performs regular, routine audits of medical providers that have a controlled substance registration. Inspections may also be performed as part of a larger investigation related to possible drug diversion, including in cases involving reports or claims of unlawful prescribing, unlawful dispensing, or conspiracy to possess or distribute controlled substances.

While the DEA may obtain a search warrant before performing an inspection, in most cases, a provider will receive a Notice of Inspection. This notice will follow a standard form (DEA Form 82), and it will include the name and address of the premises being inspected, the name and title of the owner or operator in charge of the premises, the date and time when the inspection will be performed, and the signature of the person performing the inspection. Typically, a registrant must provide informed consent before an inspection can be performed, and they have the constitutional right to refuse an inspection. Informed consent is given by signing a written statement in which a provider will verify that they understand that the results of an inspection could be used as evidence if the DEA or other law enforcement officials decide to pursue criminal drug charges.

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