Can you practice without a DEA license?
Many providers wonder if they can practice medicine without a DEA license. If a position does not require the provider to prescribe controlled substances, yes, the provider can continue without a DEA license. However, it is uncommon for an employer to employ a physician who cannot prescribe controlled substances. Those providers who are required to have prescriptive privileges must a DEA license or they will not be allowed to prescribe medications. For clarity sake, a DEA license, DEA registration and a DEA number will be used interchangeably.
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What does the Drug Enforcement Administration Do?
The Drug Enforcement Administration or the DEA is a branch of the U.S. government. It is also a law enforcement arm. The purpose of the agency is to enforce all controlled substance regulations and so prevent drug trafficking, lower abuse of drugs and lower the death rate from the use of drugs. This organization not only addresses organizations that grow, manufacture or distribute illegal drugs, but also they regulate and license prescription drug distribution.
Jobs that Require a DEA Number and Search
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. There are particular jobs within the medical community that require a DEA license. Below are some of them:
- Physicians: Obviously, a physician will need a DEA license as in his or her practice, prescribing medications is a key duty.
- 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 and advise patients on dosages, etc. They must be in legal compliance with the DEA, like any doctor or APP.
- 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, 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 You Get a Drug Enforcement Administration License
Any health care provider 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 and insurance.
- Register with the Drug Enforcement Administration by filling out a DEA Form 224.
- Pay the fees required.
- Renew the license as required.
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.
What Does a Drug Enforcement Administration License Allow?
Many ask what does a DEA license allow? To work in a medical facility, you may need to get a DEA screening and registration. It depends on the capacity in which you will be working. Any new hire will get a screening, but particular healthcare providers within the facility will need a DEA license.
When a healthcare professional has a DEA number or license, he or she can prescribe and administer controlled substances. This is important for the person’s career as controlled substances are often needed by patients. The workplace will want to ensure they are compliant with all state and federal laws and are providing quality care to all patients, therefore anyone administering or prescribing any controlled substances will need to be licensed.
Defining the Drug Enforcement Administration
The DEA is the Drug Enforcement Administration, a law enforcement agency. It is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. government. The agency works to prevent drug trafficking, and stop the growing, manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs. Since healthcare workers have access to controlled substances, they must be screened to ensure they will use these substances legally only.
Getting a DEA License or Number
It is a simple process to get a DEA number or license. A health care provider needs to first ensure they meet the licensing requirements of the state, then they can apply for DEA registration (licensing). With the application, they must submit the application fees, which are non-refundable. Once this is done, a DEA number should be issued. If your application is denied, you can appeal. It is best appealed with an attorney at your side.
Who Needs a DEA License?
A DEA license is needed by anyone working in healthcare (an MD, nurse practitioners, pharmacist, or any medical practitioner) that prescribes or administers drugs that are labeled as controlled substances. Some controlled substances that may need to be prescribed are:
The jobs in which medical practitioners would need a DEA number or license are physicians, NPs, pharmacists, optometrists, dentists, and even veterinarians. In all of these positions, controlled substances are often prescribed, administered or distributed (pharmacist). A DEA number or license ensures the person is registered and can be found and prosecuted if using the drugs illegally.
Finding an Attorney
Sometimes a person will apply for a DEA number or license and in the registration process is denied. This would be the time to find an attorney. A DEA License Denial Lawyer can help you appeal any denial and hopefully obtain with ease the license that means so much for your career.
What Crimes Does the DEA Investigate?
So, many wonder what crimes does the DEA investigate? The DEA or the Drug Enforcement Administration 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.
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. DEA registration helps put control in on this aspect of the health industry.
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.
DEA License Holders
In the medical community, a physician, NP, or other provider often need to be able to prescribe medications. In order to do so, they must obtain a DEA number or 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.
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 physician. When they hear of something that could be an issue, they will search out any criminal actions taking place. There can be very significant consequences for someone who is convicted of crimes under this license. Criminal prosecution and losing your DEA registration could be coming. Some of the actions investigated and for which criminal prosecution is pursued are the following:
- The sale of a controlled substance: Doctors and/or APPs have access to controlled substances and if they begin to sell them (also known as drug dealing), they are in for some harsh penalties. The same would apply to a pharmacy distributing drugs to those who don’t have legal prescriptions.
- Diversion of legal drugs to an illegal market: Pharmacists, physicians, NPs, dental providers and other practicing 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 for a physician or any medical personnel.
If you or your health care practice or business is being investigated by the DEA, it is a wise idea to hire an attorney to help you. If you are being denied a DEA number or license, a DEA License Denial Lawyer can help you gain your license. DEA registration is so important to physicians and advanced practice providers that it is almost mandatory to get help if your registration is threatened. One must take precautions to maintain their license, practicing their specialties, and thus their career. A properly educated attorney has the resources, information, and care to ensure you are protected.