"The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administers a provision of the 'Controlled Substances Act of 1970' requiring registration with the DEA by businesses that import, export, manufacture, or distribute controlled substances; health care practitioners entitled to dispense, administer, or prescribe controlled pharmaceuticals; and pharmacies entitled to fill prescriptions. If the DEA finds a registrant or applicant has violated the Controlled Substances Act, it may issue an order to show cause why registration should not be revoked, suspended, or denied. If the violation poses an imminent threat to public health or safety, the DEA may issue an immediate suspension order, which deprives the registrant of the right to deal in controlled substances immediately. Orders to show cause and immediate suspension orders are collectively known as 'registrant actions.' After receiving notice of a registrant action, the registrant may either allow the DEA Administrator (the Administrator) to issue a final decision or request a hearing through the DEA's Office of Administrative Law Judges. If the registrant requests a hearing, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will issue a recommended decision to the Administrator. The Administrator then issues a final decision by adopting, modifying, or rejecting the ALJ's recommended decision. The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) examined the adjudicative process followed by the DEA, the timeliness of that adjudicative process between 2008 and 2012, and the impact of any delays on registrants, the public, and on the DEA itself."
Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Report No. I-2014-003
U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/