Pharmacies and pharmacists have always been on the front lines in terms of medication safety and the pandemic has produced a new layer of challenges for the industry. I know we are all tired of Zoom meetings (and cheesy headlines), but this year’s American Society for Pharmacy Law Fall Meeting is the one conference you should attend if you want to stay on top of evolving pharmacy law regulations and industry trends.
Based on information posted on its website, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) will end its Controlled Substances Act (CSA) subscription service, effective November 17, 2020. As you may recall, the NTIS CSA subscription service provides near-real time information on all active and retired DEA registrations. This is/was a useful tool, particularly for distributors and pharmacies, to check the status of a DEA registration before controlled substances are distributed or dispensed. Many entities have embedded and automated this data into their order management and/or dispensing software. So, this is potentially a big deal. Continue Reading NTIS Ending Its DEA Registration Subscription Service
On October 5, 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) establishing a registration category for emergency medical services (EMS) agencies and the corresponding regulatory requirements for the new category of registrants. This regulatory action implements the ‘‘Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017 (the Act). The NPRM includes the following provisions mandated by the Act: Continue Reading DEA Establishes Registration Category for EMS Agencies
On September 30, 2020, DEA published a Final Rule (FR) adopting the Interim Final Rule (IFR) implementing the Ryan Haight Act. The FR made a few technical changes to the regulations and did not substantively change the IFR. What garnered my attention was DEA’s response to comments submitted after publication of the IFR.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), is seeking to make significant changes to its administrative hearing procedures. The proposed changes include the following, among others:
DEA rolled out its proposed aggregate production quotas for 2021 earlier this week, the same day, in fact, that it proposed adjustments to its 2020 quotas. Let’s start off by looking at the Big Five, at least as far as the SUPPORT Act is concerned: fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, and hydromorphone. Continue Reading DEA Submits Proposed Quotas for 2021
With the filing of two class action lawsuits, one against Walgreens and Costco, and one against CVS, in two federal district courts on August 6, pharmacies find themselves in a perplexing situation (yet again). For these suits were filed not by those who suffered from the over-dispensing of opioids, but by chronic pain patients who were denied opioid medication by pharmacies. Continue Reading Lawsuits Filed Against Retail Chain Pharmacies: The Corresponding Responsibility Catch-22
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: Continue Reading DEA Proposes Changes to Theft/Loss Reporting and Finalizes New Registration Fees
On June 5, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received an Interim Final Rule from the Drug Enforcement Administration titled, Implementation of the SUPPORT Act: Dispensing and Administering Controlled Substances for Medicated-Assisted Treatment. This rule implements certain provisions of the SUPPORT Act “relating to the expansion of medication-assisted treatment providers and to the delivery of a controlled substance by a pharmacy to a practitioner.” Continue Reading OMB Has a Backlog of DEA Regulatory Actions
A little more than 10 years ago the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an Interim Final Rule with Request for Comment regarding Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances (EPCS). The Interim Final Rule became effective on June 1, 2010. DEA received over 200 comments but never issued a Final Rule.
On April 21, 2020, DEA issued a second Interim Final Rule regarding EPCS, this time re-opening the comment period to obtain additional feedback from industry. While this is a somewhat unorthodox approach, it is a prudent step toward finalizing the EPCS rule. Continue Reading DEA Re-Opens Comments for EPCS