Proposal on Disposal of Controlled Substances Published

Image 138

On December 21st the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register for the disposal of controlled substances by both DEA registrants and ultimate users.  These proposed regulations would expand the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for purposes of disposal to include: take-back events, mail-back programs and collection receptacle locations.  In addition, this proposed rule expands the authority of authorized retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles at long term care facilities.

According to the American Health Care Association’s (AHCA) analysis, the proposed rule offers long term care facilities (LTCFs) a potential solution for disposing of unused controlled substances.  Since LTCFs are not DEA registrants, the DEA is looking to the retail pharmacies to take a more active role in drug disposal by requesting that retail pharmacies provide facilities with disposal receptacles that can accommodate controlled substances as well as other medication.  However, the comingling of disposed medication is not a proposed rule requirement, as well as pharmacy participation, in the disposal program.  If the rule is adopted, and pharmacies choose to participate, the rule has the potential to help LTCFs and particularly those operating in states where no disposal methods are currently available. Considering this, AHCA believes the proposed rule is a step in the right direction and facilities need to carefully consider the benefits as well as the contraindications.  AHCA believes the DEA needs to consider all the implementation issues identified and work out solutions before making the rule final.