The attorneys at Nicholson & Eastin, LLP have extensive experience assisting clients with a variety of DEA regulatory matters. One of the enforcement tools that DEA has available to it against holders of DEA numbers (registration) is revocation. Revocation proceedings allow DEA to revoke a physician or pharmacy’s DEA number “in the public interest,” and deprive the physician or pharmacy from prescribing or dispensing controlled substances. DEA generally initiates this procedure through the issuance of an Order to Show Cause why the registrant’s number should not be revoked. The physician or pharmacy must then defend itself before an administrative law judge and demonstrate why it is in the public interest for the physician or pharmacy to retain their DEA registration.
DEA can also obtain an emergency revocation in certain instances whereby the registrant’s DEA number and privileges are immediately revoked pending a hearing.
In additional to the direct consequence of not being able to prescribe or dispense controlled substances — which is itself devastating to a medical professional’s ability to maintain a practice — many health insurers require physicians and pharmacies to possess a DEA number to remain in network. Thus, even if the physician or pharmacy do not maintain a practice that is reliant on the ability to prescribe or dispense controlled substances, being able to remain enrolled and in network with health insurers is essential to most all physicians and pharmacies.
If you suspect that DEA is investigating your registration, or if you have received a rule to show cause notice, you should seek the advice of experienced and qualified counsel immediately.