AHCA/NCAL Submits Comments to DEA on Disposal of Controlled Substances

In the January 31st CareConnection we published the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) notice of proposed rulemaking on the disposal of controlled substances.  The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has now submitted comments to the DEA on the proposed rule.  The rule, if implemented, will require long term care (LTC) providers to partner with a pharmacy that agrees to place and manage a controlled substance disposal receptacle in the facility.   Providers will also have the option of returning unused controlled substances to the resident or give person’s lawfully entitled to dispose of a decedent’s property the drugs for them to deliver to law enforcement agencies through take-back events and mail-back programs.

In response to AHCA’s request for comments from providers, a number of issues were identified with the proposed rule, ranging from resident and worker safety related to giving elderly residents controlled substances and the risk associated with facilities accumulating large amounts of controlled drugs.  In addition, the proposed rule also did take into consideration existing long term care laws and regulations, such as hazardous waste disposal requirements. In its comments, AHCA noted that there are components in the proposal that must be clarified and/or modified in order for LTC providers to be able to fully operationalize the provisions that impact the LTC settings.  AHCA also included a series of recommendations in their comments.