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DEA Red Flags - Proceed with Caution
Published by American Society of Pharmacy Law and American Society for Pharmacy Law

The DOJ's and DEA's position is that there is no obligation to dispense when the legitimacy of the prescription is uncertain. Pharmacists must be cognizant of red flags and exercise "sound professional judgment" in evaluating controlled substance prescriptions. Red flags are not always specific to an individual prescription. Pharmacists must take into consideration the totality of the circumstances, including the practitioner's prescribing patterns across different patients, e.g., large quantities, high-risk combinations, similar diagnosis codes.

The speakers will discuss recent judicial and administrative decisions in evaluating the exercise of sound professional judgment and appropriate considerations in resolving red flags. Resolution of a red flag should always be documented. However, mere documentation may not be enough to meet the pharmacist’s corresponding responsibility. A pharmacist may be found to have knowledge that the prescription was illegitimate despite a purported but false verification. A refusal to fill may be appropriate, but at the risk of a patient with legitimate pain not being dispensed the prescribed relief.

Learning Objectives:
1) Explain recent decisions implicating pharmacists for dispensing questionable or suspicious controlled substance prescriptions.
2) Provide four prescriber-related indicators of improper prescribing.
3) Define a pharmacist’s “corresponding responsibility,” as set forth in the federal regulations.
4) Describe best practices for resolving red flags.

ACPE Continuing Education Credits Participants may earn up to 1 contact hour (0.1 continuing education units) of Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-accredited continuing pharmacy education (CPE) credit. Sessions approved for CPE credit are listed with an ACPE universal activity number and number of continuing education units.  Verification of participation will be reported to the CPE tracking service, CPE Monitor, within 4 weeks after the program by Campbell University, and will then be accessible to participants at You will need to include your NABP e-profile ID on the registration page so that it may be reported to CPE Monitor. If you have not yet obtained your NABP e-Profile ID, you may do so by visiting, creating an e-Profile, and registering for CPE Monitor. Be sure to register for CPE Monitor to ensure that your e-Profile ID is fully activated. The ACPE accreditation number is 0088-9999-19-116-H03-P. Approved for 1-hour ACPE credit.

Campbell University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. CPE now requires that all pharmacy continuing education (CE) credits must be processed and claimed no later than 60 days from the date of the live activity.

Continuing Legal Education Credits If you intend to apply for continuing legal education credits, please be sure to indicate the state (or states) in which you are licensed and the corresponding license number(s) on the registration form. Quarles & Brady, LLP will process the CLE credits for the webinar. Continuing Legal Education credit will be applied for based on the attendee list provided by SeminarWeb.

Marina Plotkin
Marina Plotkin is a pharmacist attorney at Harris Beach on the Medical and Life Sciences Industry Team. Years of experience as a supervising pharmacist provide Ms. Plotkin with unique insights for the defense of pharmacies and pharmacists. Ms....More
Joseph Bova
Joseph Bova is a Community Pharmacist with over thirty years behind the bench along with extensive experience in managing a pharmacy as a sole proprietor. He served for over ten years as a member of the New York State Board ofPharmacy, including...More
Originally Published
July 31, 2019

Program Titles and Supporting Materials
This program contains the following components:
  1. DEA Red Flags - Proceed with Caution - Video
  2. DEA Red Flags - Proceed with Caution - Slide Handout
  3. Oakley Complaint 2019 - Paper
  4. Trinity Pharmacy Federal Register - Paper
  5. Pharmacy Credit Instructions - Paper

How To Attend
Join the self-paced program from your office, home, or hotel room using a computer and high speed internet connection. You may start and stop the program at your convenience, continue where you left off, and review supporting materials as often as you like. Please note: Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser. We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari for best results.

Technical Requirements
You may access this course on a computer or mobile device with high speed internet (iPhones require iOS 10 or higher). Recommended browsers are Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

If applicable, you may obtain credit in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously for this program (see pending/approved list below). If electing credit for this program, registrants in jurisdictions not listed below will receive a Certificate of Completion that may or may not meet credit requirements in other jurisdictions. Where applicable, credit will be only awarded to a paid registrant completing all the requirements of the program as determined by the selected accreditation authority.

 Click on jurisdiction for specific details  

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