The DEA or the Drug Enforcement Administration is a Federal organization that investigates all crimes relating to illegal drug use. This not only includes drug trafficking, but also means that they look into illegal use of drugs in the medical field. Information is retrieved from many sources to find illegal activities which this division of the government investigates.
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The Drug Enforcement Administration was created in 1973 when there was a huge rise in recreational drug use and much drug related crime. The administration is counted on to enforce controlled substances and their use in the United States. They catch those who commit drug related crimes and prosecute them. Part of their duties is to monitor drugs that are manufactured and used legally and prevent these drugs being diverted to illegal markets. Information retrieved from health care sources provides leads into finding drug diversion. If they see a problem, they can conduct a DEA audit to ensure everything is legal and aboveboard. If appropriate, they can issue a search warrant to inspect the health care provider.
DEA Responsibility in Healthcare
The DEA plays an important role in investigating healthcare fraud that involves prescription medication. They investigate and prosecute registered and non-registered entities and individuals in illegal prescribing of drugs under a number of federal statutes, both civil and criminal.
Drug Enforcement Agency License Holders
In the medical community, a doctor, nurse, or other provider often need to be able to prescribe medications. In order to do so, they must obtain a DEA license which permits them to prescribe controlled substances to their patients. This license is registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the person who has it must conform to certain rules and regulations. These rules and regulations can be retrieved from the DEA website.
Controlled Substances for a Patient (Opioid Narcotics, etc.)
A controlled substance is a chemical compound, single chemical or other drug or ingredient that has been identified as restricted by the state or by federal law. The law restricts who can use, possess, prescribe, transport, or manufacture these substances.
Criminal Actions Investigated
There are a number of criminal actions that the DEA will investigate when they have heard of something illegal going on. It could be reported by a patient or by another doctor. Criminal activity is always the DEA’s concern. When some type of activity is red-flagged, it does come under investigation. There can be very significant consequences for someone who is convicted of crimes under this license. Some of the actions investigated and for which criminal prosecution is pursued are the following:
- The sale of a controlled substance: Doctors and/or nurses have access to controlled substances and if they begin to sell them (also known as drug dealing), they are in for some harsh penalties.
- Diversion of legal drugs to an illegal market: Pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and other providers who supply controlled substances to those who don’t need them for medical reasons face stiff penalties.
- Falsification of prescriptions: This can come under the heading of diverting prescription medications and is a crime.
It doesn’t matter if the crimes are archived, as they are still taken into account if on record.
Legal Assistance for Prescription Fraud
If you or your healthcare business is being investigated by the DEA and/or the FBI for criminal activity or fraud, you have rights and it is a wise idea to hire an attorney to help you. If you are being denied a DEA license, a DEA License Denial Lawyer can help you gain your license. Your attorney will have the intelligence, resources and care you need at your side in fighting to get your license. Attorneys educated in DEA law can come to your defense and give you the justice you deserve.
How Long Does it Take to Get a DEA License?
So, many inquire how long does it take to get a DEA license? When you have graduated from a medical program and are ready to start your job as a nurse practitioner or other medical personnel, you will need to be prepared to write prescriptions for medications. The privilege of writing a prescription comes from the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) as they license those who need to do that for their patients. Getting a license becomes vital for those that prescribe as part of their duties.
The DEA license is permission for prescribing controlled substances in a health care capacity. You must become registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to earn this right. You can apply online. When you apply online, the original application is retrieved by the DEA and processed.
Applying for the Drug Enforcement Agency License
You can apply for your DEA license online at the website of the Drug Enforcement Administration. There are six sections that have to be completed with information you provide on your background, state license, business activity and prescribing schedules. Your state license would be the license you have in your state of residence to practice in that state. You can only apply for a DEA license when your state license to practice is active.
It takes about 30 minutes to fill out the application, and it will take four to six weeks to get the license / DEA number. That time frame is only valid providing the application is complete. Ensure you get the fastest processing possible by making sure the application is filled out in its entirety. Also be sure to sign and date it. You fee must be included.
Renewing Your Application
You can renew your application online as well. It must be done every three years. You can re-register not more than 60 days before the expiration date of your registration. You should get a notification by email that it is time to renew, and this should arrive about 65 days before the expiration date. If you have a change of address, this must be reported immediately upon the change to the DEA so they have this information.
Legal Assistance When Needed
It can happen that upon applying for a DEA license, you get a denial. This means that the DEA is refusing for some reason to allow you the privilege of prescribing controlled substances. There are a number of reasons that this might occur. But realize you can ask for help and get legal defense in appealing this decision. Call a DEA License Denial Lawyer right away for assistance. He is familiar with the law and can help you. Another reason you might need a DEA attorney is if you come under investigation regarding criminal actions related to drugs. It is vital to any health care business or organization to have help if their license is threatened.
Can You Practice Without a DEA License?
If you are wondering if; Can you practice without a DEA license?, there are some things you should learn about a DEA license. Those who are required by law to have one must get an official DEA license or they will not be allowed to prescribe medications. Basically, a DEA license, DEA registration and a DEA number are the same thing.
What is the Mission of the Drug Enforcement Agency
The Drug Enforcement Administration or the DEA is a branch of the U.S. Federal government. It is also a Federal government law enforcement arm. The mission of this Federal agency is to enforce all controlled substance regulations and so prevent drug related criminal activity, drug trafficking, and to lower the abuse of drugs and lower the death rate from the use of drugs. This Federal organization not only addresses organizations that grow, manufacture or distribute illegal drugs such as meth and marijuana, but also they regulate and license medical healthcare prescription drug distribution, making sure each follows the law. Using intelligence from various sources, they can find red-flagged areas to investigate for criminal activity. They can have agents put a health practice under surveillance if something is suspected.
Jobs that Require a DEA License / Number
A DEA license means that you have been approved to prescribe controlled substances. Once you have the license, you can prescribe certain medications to patients. If you are going to work at a medical facility, you will most likely need to be screened and get such a license in certain jobs. It is a criminal offense to prescribe or distribute certain medications without a license.
There are particular jobs within the medical community that require a Federal DEA license by law. Below are some of them:
- Physicians: Obviously, a physician will need a DEA license as in his or her office, clinic or hospital practice, prescribing medications is a key duty.
- Nurses: A nurse not only must get a state license to practice and go through a credentialing process, but he or she must also get a DEA license in order to prescribe medications, namely controlled substances which are subject to strict regulations.
- Nurse practitioners: These advanced registered nurses perform many duties, including administering medicine for patients.
- Physician Assistants: A PA is authorized to issue prescriptions for controlled substances and so must register with the DEA for a license.
- Pharmacists: Pharmacists, of course, dispense medications from their pharmacy and advise patients on dosages, etc. They must be in legal compliance with the DEA, like any doctor or nurse.
- Optometrists: These professionals not only do eye exams and prescribe corrective lenses. They also will prescribe medications to those who have eye diseases. They therefore must have a DEA license.
- Dentists: A dentist sometimes needs to administer a controlled substance to a patient in his office, for example, pain pills. He therefore needs to have a DEA license to legally dispense controlled substances.
- Veterinarians: It doesn’t matter whether or not these professionals treat humans or animals, if controlled substances pass through their hands, they will need to be licensed to prescribe or administer them.
How to Get Your Drug Enforcement Agency License
Any health care provider or any national health care organization who will deal with controlled substances will need to get a DEA license or number. This is how to obtain one.
- You must meet state licensing requirements, such as having a license to practice medicine. The license cannot be old or archived but active.
- Register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration by filling out a DEA Form 224.
- Pay the fees required.
- Renew the license as required by law.
Legal Assistance if Denied a DEA License
If you have applied for a DEA license and been denied, it’s not hopeless. You always have a chance to appeal any decision. Hire a DEA License Denial Lawyer to get the best chance of getting your license. The DEA attorneys know the medical law, have the resources and show the care to ensure your license is protected. It takes a special kind of intelligence and training to fight a license denial and the DEA License Denial Lawyer has it. Also if you have investigations ongoing for criminal actions, an attorney from a legal office will be able to come to your defense in court and give you justice.