The most common examples or drug diversion is when a physician prescribes narcotics without a legitimate medical need or a nurse diverting medication from patient use. Drug diversion allegations are very serious and could lead to criminal. There are a number of state and federal investigators combating drug diversion the Department of Health, DEA Office of Diversion Control, Florida Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and more.
State Drug Diversion Investigations by FDOH
If an allegation of drug diversion is referred to your state licensing board an investigator will likely call you after he or she has completed their investigation of the allegations of drug diversion or theft. Do not meet with the state investigator without a qualified attorney. After the investigation concludes, the case may either be referred to local police, Florida State Police or the Attorney General’s office for criminal charges. Whether or not the state pursues criminal charges, the case will be forwarded to your licensing board to determine if a formal complaint is issued. If a formal complaint is filed the formal administrative complaint process will begin.
Federal DEA Drug Diversion Investigations
The Office of Diversion Control combats serious drug cases. They and assist the Department of Justice (DOJ) in indicting healthcare professionals for criminal drug diversion in violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). When the DEA concludes the investigation the DOJ decides if federal prosecution is appropriate or whether they should defer to the state prosecutors or licensing board. The DEA often sends undercover officers or patients to try and obtain narcotics for reasons other than legitimate medical need. They also attempt to coerce patients to visit the practice while being recorded. The DEA may then raid a practice or pharmacy in cooperation with local authorities and the FBI, usually with negative media coverage. During the raid, they always try to get a statement from providers. Do not make a statement to without the advice an experienced attorney.
Generally before the raid, there is enough evidence to charge the physicians, nurses, pharmacists and mid-level providers at the practice exists and an indictment may already be issued but will remain under seal. When you first suspect drug diversion allegations are being brought against you get a qualified attorney. By the time you realize that you are being investigated, you may have already been charged.
Statements to Investigators
Even if you there are no criminal charges, your case may be brought to a prosecutor during or after state licensing proceedings. Criminal charges are very common and nurses, physicians, pharmacists and other providers need to be careful when responding to a state letter. Any statements you make to an investigator can be used against you for criminal charges.
We are dedicated to protecting careers and reputations of health providers. Contact Delegal Law Offices immediately if you are accused of drug diversion. We would be honored to represent you.
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