Friday, September 19, 2014

DEA Final Rule on Disposal of Controlled Substances

Holly Harmon

On September 8, 2014 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released their final rule regarding the disposal of controlled substances which takes effect October 9, 2014. This rule governs the secure disposal of controlled substances by registrants and ultimate users. These regulations will implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 by expanding the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for the purpose of disposal, including: take-back events, mail-back programs, and collection receptacle locations. Significant changes are made in this final rule which the DEA states are to help ensure that long term care centers have adequate disposal options.

AHCA/NCAL previously submitted comments to DEA on the proposed rule requesting clarification and modification in order for long term care providers to be able to fully operationalize the provisions that impact long term care settings. While the rule states it is voluntary to maintain collection receptacles at long term care centers, AHCA/NCAL continues to have concern with a variety of components in the final rule. These concerns include potentially significant operational challenges associated with the ultimate user and the process centers must take to dispose of drugs on behalf of the resident along with increased risk for DEA inspection. That being said, this is an individual organization decision and in house legal counsel should be consulted. AHCA/NCAL is analyzing the impact of the final rule on long term care centers including SNF and AL and will provide an update as soon as possible. 

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