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The Spodek Law Group is one of the most successful law firms in the USA. Our success comes from the fact we are attentive to details, and take a very pragmatic approach to each and every single case. Our clients turn to us for realistic advice – so they can make the appropriate decisions they need to make personally. Our goal is to make sure your case ends in a positive outcome, not only personally – but for your family as well.


DEA Investigations Against Doctors and Pharmacies DEA Letter of Admonition

Did you receive a DEA letter of admonition?

For any pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacy owner, a DEA audit can have a lot of consequences. There are a number of consequences – and the severity of them can vary widely. It’s possible for you to face criminal prosecution, and also fines, and even long-term imprisonment. On the lower end of the scale of potential punishments is a Letter of Admonition. This is issued by the DEA – typically, when they do an audit – and uncover minor record keeping violations that don’t warrant a civil or criminal liability. Even though getting a letter of admonition doesn’t have any direct consequences – it shouldn’t be ignored.

If your pharmacy gets a Letter of Admonition from the DEA, it means the DEA has found cause to believe that your pharmacy isn’t in full compliance with the law. This means you really need to get your pharmacy compliance program revised, and correctly implemented. Even if the facts stated in the letter are incorrect, the simple fact the DEA believes your pharmacy is non-compliant means you have room for improvement. If the agents are correct that your pharmacy wasn’t compliant – then you have to address these issues promptly in order to avoid potential liability in new audits or investigations.

What’s a DEA Letter of Admonition

DEA letters of admonitions are essentially reprimands. They are a notice that a compliance issue was found during a DEA audit. It’s a warning that you have to rectify issues. It is among the least severe of administrative actions the DEA can take, after auditing, or inspecting, a pharmacy. There are no penalties necessarily, with Letters of Admonitions. It doesn’t even require that there be any follow up actions. Pharmacies that get these letters need to take them with immense seriousness – and take actions in case the DEA does a follow up audit.

The DEA usually issues a letter of admonition when it uncovers record keeping issues. Based on the law, registered pharmacies have an immense burden placed on them when it comes to record keeping. The requirements, regarding record keeping, apply to matters such as:

  • Compliance programs
  • Compliance documentation
  • Compliance implementation
  • Training of staff with compliance programs
  • Drug ordering record keeping
  • Drug inventory record keeping
  • Electronic/hardcopy prescription record keeping
  • Medical refill necessity
  • Billing compliance
  • DEA registration compliance

Not all record keeping violations result in Letters of Admonition. Some violations are more severe, and can lead to administrative actions. For example, more serious issues can lead to civil/criminal investigations. If you get a Letter of Admonition, you can relax – knowing that things are ok for now – but you have to take actions. You have to ensure that the NEXT DEA AUDIT doesn’t uncover repeat violations.

What are the consequences of getting a DEA letter of admonition?

There are no direct consequences of getting a letter of admonition from the DEA. The main thing is that the DEA is now looking at you. There is no response obligation, or penalties associated with the letter of admonition. As a result, most pharmacies – who get a letter of admonition, continue operating normally. This is not advisable. Unless your violation was a one-off error, and there is no risk of repetition, then the violation must be addressed. Depending on the nature of your violation, this could mean things such as:

  • Looking at your pharmacy compliance policies
  • Give additional training to your team members

It’s important to realize that letters of admonitions don’t mean that the other aspects of your pharmacy are fine. It could be that DEA agents overlooked other issues, or perhaps their audit was only focused on specific issues. Even if the violation is only minor, it can be wise to conduct a comprehensive compliance audit – and determine whether other updates/additions might be needed.

After your pharmacy gets a letter of admonition, there are a number of things you should do.

First – if your pharmacy isn’t in compliance with all the federal laws, your priority should be to come into full compliance. Failing to the address the compliance issue which was noted in the letter of admonition could result in additional risks during subsequent audits. When the DEA agents return, they will FIRST look to see if the prior issues were addressed. If the issues haven’t been addressed, this will be detrimental. It’s important to remember that the letter of admonition goes on file at the DEA. In other words – it’s not going away. It’s going to be part of your permanent record, and if there are further subsequent audits which find shortcomings – this letter can be used against you – since now, there is a history of violations.

What should I do after getting a letter of admonition from the DEA?

There’s a number of things you can do and should do.

Conduct a compliance audit: It might be relevant to conduct a comprehensive compliance audit, which is focused on all deficiencies in your pharmacy. Just because ALL of the issues your pharmacy might have in this DEA audit weren’t discovered – doesn’t mean none exist. As a pharmacy owner, you have to do a comprehensive review of your pharmacy compliance program, and remedy any shortcomings.

Update your compliance program: Once you’ve assessed your compliance needs, you can then transition to focus on updating your pharmacy’s compliance program entirely. You should hire a DEA defense attorney who understands what the federal guidelines are so you can make your compliance program up to date.

Train your pharmacy personnel: You should train your pharmacy personnel after you’ve updated your compliance program. Training must be provided to all pharmacy personnel. It’s important that all of this training be documented, so you can demonstrate your willingness to be in full compliance with the DEA.

Setup a program to identify future violations: As part of your compliance program, its important to create a framework to monitor your pharmacy’s compliance. If other record keeping violations occur, you must catch them before the DEA identifies it during the audit. Monitoring programs that involve protocols, can be helpful.

Charle Butler
Charle Butler
I was hesitant to hire the Spodek Law Group. I read reviews and knew they have a great reputation. However, I thought I would spend money and not see or speak to my attorney. From the beginning to end of my case Todd and the entire staff were available and willing to help. We worked towards and end result that was way above my expectation and Todd delivered. I am forever grateful for patience and long days and night spent working on my case. Thanks Todd and the entire team!
Mesonista parsons
Mesonista parsons
My attorney at Spodek was Abigail. She was very knowledgeable and helpful with all my questions and concerns, as well as responsive. Her fees are affordable and Abigail took the time to make sure I understood everything relating to my case. I highly recommend Abigail and will request her services in the future.
debabrata chakraborty
debabrata chakraborty
Todd A Spodek is the experienced and best criminal lawyer at USA. He is very professional and always respond on time. Alex also very cooperative and always help me. They took care me and my problem like family member. I am 100% satisfied for their professional service. My result was unexpected and amazing. They dismissed my case. I am really grateful to them. I will recommend you to go there if you want to solve your problem. I wish all the best for them.
Asata Hendricks
Asata Hendricks
Truly appreciate the work the guys did!. Exceptional team & I know they care about each and everyone of their clients. I am super thankful to be referred to Spodek Law Group and I am grateful Todd & Alex were able to work diligently to achieve an outcome I am pleased with. Despite COVID they stayed on top of things and kept me informed every step of the way. Very thankful.
Mike Moroff
Mike Moroff
I'm very satisfied with the services rendered by Todd, Alex and Mary Lou. I whole heartedly recommend Spodek Law Group . I've worked with and have retained other attorneys in the past with Todd's firm being the cream of the crop for many reasons. A very serious legal matter was resolved after a year's hard work and effort. Todd expertly guided me through the process and was able to navigate and make the good journey bearable as well as successful. Mary Lou initially provided excellent assistance before referring my case to Todd. Alex's support was effective and timely. The customer portal (MyCase) is an invaluable communication tool that also kept track of my case. Various aspects of my case were explained and there were several options provided but I made the final decision of how the case would be handled. The legal fee was reasonable considering the effort and amount of work plus it was a flat fee regardless of the length of time required to conclude my case. Todd made himself available to me and we had many scheduled meetings to go over the progress and to discuss the next steps. I felt more confident after many discussions with him. You will not go wrong choosing Spodek Law Group for legal matters.
Josh Katz
Josh Katz
Being that it was the first time that I was in need of an attorney, I was afraid and hesitant and knew I needed the absolute best. It is beyond understood why Spodek Law Group has a reputation of being the top, if not the best law firm in New York. Alex and Abigail were there every step of the way even at the most unconvenient hours. I could not have asked for more. They are extremely good at what they do and they delivered much much more than just winning my case. A big thank you to Alex and Abigail for all the guidance and counseling and their upmost loyal support that extended far more than just legally. If you need the absolute best than don't hesitate to hire Spodek Law Firm.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Todd and Alex for their hard work and dedication to my case. I had never been in any trouble before but I had an unfortunate event occur and in the midst of COVID-19 at that therefore I knew I needed a team that was dedicated to my success. Today- my case has been finalized and I’m walking away with no record and can continue life as a mother and a Grad student worry free. I cannot express enough gratitude for their assistance.
AnnMarie Soliman
AnnMarie Soliman
I received a summons and called Spodek law group for a free consultation. Alex took my call and was very quick and responsive. He was available anytime through multiple platforms and very reassuring when needed. They are extremely organized and thorough. They got my case dismissed! I’m very grateful. Thank you Alex and Todd!



Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."

David Bruce

"Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet."

Rowlin Garcia

"Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind."

Francis Anim
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