As I was reviewing the public comments regarding the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) providing a much-needed update to the agency’s suspicious order regulations, I noticed a similar issue raised by multiple commenters. Apart from the myriad of comments and requests seeking greater clarity from DEA on several definitions and provisions,
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published its long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding suspicious orders of controlled substances. This will likely be the most heavily scrutinized rule issued by DEA this year. Registrants impacted by this rule should submit comments within sixty (60) days of publication in the Federal Register. …
Continue Reading DEA Creates Two-Option Framework for Reporting Suspicious Orders
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.
Continue Reading DEA’s New/Old View on Due Diligence Requirements
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
In response to issues raised by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (“HDA”), earlier this week the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) published additional guidance for DEA-registered distributors on the agency’s COVID-19 Information Page. Among other issues previously addressed by DEA, the recent guidance addresses suspicious order monitoring and conducting due diligence on customers.…
Continue Reading DEA: COVID-19 Does Not Relieve Distributors of Certain Compliance Obligations
It appears that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is on the cusp of publishing a new regulation in the next few weeks, with two more to follow in the coming months. This is based on notifications received by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the government’s final review authority for Executive Branch regulations.
Continue Reading DEA Poised to Roll Out Three Regulations in the Coming Months
On January 20, 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report Drug Control: Actions Needed to Ensure Usefulness of Data on Suspicious Opioid Orders. The report, mandated by Congress in the SUPPORT Act, focuses almost exclusively on the need for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to beef up its capabilities for analyzing the vast amount of data provided to DEA by registrants. GAO’s investigation revealed, among other things, that DEA conducted “limited proactive and robust analysis of industry reported data” and that DEA did not have the appropriate data governance structure in place to manage drug transaction data.…
Continue Reading DEA Signals that Substantive SOM Guidance is Not Likely Forthcoming
Note: The following is my best guess for what to expect in the coming year regarding controlled substance compliance obligations. I have relied on publicly available information, my experience and expertise with all things involving pharmaceutical controlled substance, and a Magic 8 Ball in creating the list below.
This is the year (I think) that DEA will publish a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) updating 1301.74(b). While industry is anxiously awaiting the new regulations, I fear that many will be disappointed. My best guess is that the new regulations will be more about changing the process for reporting suspicious orders and less about guidance for industry on the metrics to use for detecting suspicious orders. This is in part because Congress recently codified the existing definition of suspicious orders that has been in DEA’s regulations for decades, which takes away a great deal of DEA’s interpretative authority and discretion. There is also an argument to be made that DEA would prefer suspicious order guidance and definitions to be vague, providing the agency significant enforcement discretion.…
Continue Reading What to Expect from DEA in 2020 – One Guy’s Opinion
On October 23, 2019, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the launch of its Suspicious Orders Report System (SORS) Online, a portal allowing for the centralized reporting of suspicious orders, as required by the SUPPORT ACT.
According to DEA’s announcement, 12 registrant business activity classes will utilize this reporting system:
- Teaching Institutions
- Mid-Level Practitioners
- Mid-Level Practitioners – Ambulance Services
- Analytical Labs
- Narcotic Treatment Programs (NTPs)
Reverse distributors and exporters are excluded from the requirement.…
Continue Reading DEA Announces its New Suspicious Orders Report System Online: the devil is in the details we don’t yet have
Is “Suspicious Order” about to be defined?
The recently-released DOJ OIG Review of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Regulatory and Enforcement Efforts to Control the Diversion of Opioids has met with extensive media coverage focused on the sexier aspects of the story. What did DEA do or not do to stem the opioids crisis? What internal battles may have led DEA to drop the ball in some aspects of the response? These are important questions, but they have been well-covered.
Instead, we are going to focus on a handful of the nine recommendations (listed below) made by the IG and DEA’s and ODAG’s responses.…
Continue Reading Problems Identified, Solutions Proposed: the OIG Review of DEA