Theft and Loss Reporting

On July 29, 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to the reporting of thefts or significant losses of controlled substances.  Specifically, DEA proposes two changes to the reporting process:

  • Registrants must submit the DEA Form 106 (106) electronically. As noted in the NPRM, 99.5% of theft/loss forms are currently submitted electronically.  This change simply reflects what is already being done by the regulated industry and should elicit few, if any, comments objecting to the change.
  • The 106 must be filed withing 15 calendar days. I think this time frame is too short and expect that DEA will receive comments from industry stating the same.  As DEA reminds us, current regulations are silent on the timing for filing a 106 after submission of the initial notification.  DEA’s historical guidance to registrants has been that if the 106 could not be filed within 60 days (a very rare occurrence from my experience), the registrant should provide the local office with an update of the investigation.  While I think it is appropriate to create a deadline for filing the 106, the proposed period may create more issues than it solves.  While some investigations can be completed within 15 calendar days, many cannot.  This is especially true if the registrant must rely on outside entities to assist with the investigation, as is typical with in-transit loss investigations.  Filing a 106 in 15 days and before the full investigation is completed will require the registrant to file an amended 106 at some later time at the conclusion of the the investigation.  DEA will be the first to tell you that it does not like it when registrants file amendments to theft/loss reports.  If the goal is to get timely, complete, and accurate information regarding the circumstances of a theft or loss, DEA should consider giving registrants 30 or 45 days to complete investigations, with the opportunity to extend the deadline, with DEA’s permission, when warranted.  Doing so may decrease the amount of amended reports DEA is likely to receive if it sticks to the proposed time frame.

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

 Registration Fees

On July 24, 2020, DEA published a Final Rule increasing fees for its nearly 1.9 million registrants.  The fee scheduled set out in the NPRM has been adopted by DEA, without change.  The new fees, found below, will take effect for all new applications and all renewal applications submitted on or after October 1, 2020.