Federal Issue Brief

 DEA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Disposal of Controlled Substances (February 14, 2013)


Formal Title: Docket Number (DEA-316); DEA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Disposal of Controlled Substances


Brief Description:

This rule proposes requirements to govern the secure disposal of controlled substances by both DEA registrants and ultimate users. These regulations would implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–273) by expanding the options available to collect controlled substances from ultimate users for purposes of disposal to include: Take-back events, mail-back programs, and collection receptacle locations. These proposed regulations contain specific language to continue to allow law enforcement agencies to voluntarily conduct take-back events, administer mail-back programs, and maintain collection receptacles. These regulations propose to allow authorized manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, and retail pharmacies to voluntarily administer mail-back programs and maintain collection receptacles. In addition, this proposed rule expands the authority of authorized retail pharmacies to voluntarily maintain collection receptacles at long term care facilities. This proposed rule also reorganizes and consolidates existing regulations on disposal, including the role of reverse distributors.

AVMA Response:

The AVMA supports environmental responsibility and the prevention of negative environmental impacts of chemicals, such as controlled substances, and supports actions that prevent toxicoses in wildlife, domestic animals, and human populations.  The proposed rule will expand the environmentally sound avenues by which society may properly and securely dispose of controlled substances.   

The proposed rule encompasses facets of One Health, which the AVMA supports and which is the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.

Furthermore, the AVMA appreciates the DEA’s proposed changes to the regulations which lessen the current burden to practitioners needing to destroy or dispose of controlled substances.  An improvement in this regard would be to allow veterinarians to transport and deliver controlled substances used in the course of their professional businesses to entities conducting take-back programs or other authorized disposal services.

Background Documents:

Related AVMA Policies: 

Related AVMA Resources: