DEA Publishes Policy for Communicating Controlled Substance Prescriptions to Pharmacies in Long-term Care Facilities

On October 6, 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a Statement of Policy, effective immediately, regarding the procedure by which a DEA registered practitioner may use an agent, including a nurse in a long-term care facility (LTCF), to communicate controlled substances prescriptions to a pharmacy. This policy will allow certain prescriptions for controlled substances ordered at LTCFs to be communicated to the pharmacy in a more efficient and timely manner. Importantly, the requirements mentioned in the policy reinforce the DEA’s existing statutory and regulatory requirements as to the proper role of duly authorized agents rather than establish a new law.

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