DEA Grants Hospitals and Clinics Authority to Collect Unused Controlled Substances

October 3, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has published a final rule implementing the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 that expands the options available to collect controlled substances from end users for the purpose of disposal. Previously, the only options available to users were to destroy these medications themselves (e.g., by flushing or discarding), surrender them to law enforcement, or seek assistance from DEA, a situation that DEA felt resulted in the accumulation of excessive pharmaceutical controlled substances in household medicine cabinets that were available for abuse, misuse, diversion, and accidental ingestion. The final rule contains specific language allowing law enforcement to voluntarily continue to conduct take-back events, administer mail-back programs, and maintain collection receptacles, but it also introduces regulations that will now permit authorized manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, narcotic treatment programs, hospitals and clinics with an on-site pharmacy, and retail pharmacies to voluntarily administer mail-back programs and maintain collection receptacles.

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