Physicians who administer, dispense, or prescribe Schedule III substances, including buprenorphine, may be required to submit to random audits as a part of routine surveillance by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has recently sent letters to psychiatrists and other physicians who are registered with the DEA stating that it will be conducting on-site, unannounced inspections under the authority of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The inspections are intended to ensure compliance with recordkeeping, security, and other requirements for administering, dispensing, or prescribing controlled substances under the CSA, according to the government agency.
Jennifer Tassler, J.D., deputy director for regulatory affairs in APA's Department of Government Relations (DGR), said that technically inspections can be conducted for any scheduled narcotic, but that the DEA initiative is focused on buprenorphine.
Tassler told Psychiatric News that DGR has been in contact with the agency and that the DEA has said the inspections are routine and not intended to intimidate or harass physicians or their patients.
DGR provided the following information about what to expect and how to alert APA if there is a problem:
Members who receive an on-site audit and experience any problems should contact APA staff Jennifer Tassler at (703) 907-7842 or Beatrice Eld at (703) 907-8598.
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