DEA acknowledges veterinarians’ ability to practice across state lines

Published on March 08, 2016
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Protecting access to critical drugsWith President Barack Obama’s signing of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act in 2014, it became legal for veterinarians to carry controlled substances across state lines to provide complete medical care to patients outside their clinics.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration dotted the final “i” on the legislation recently, formally acknowledging its provisions in a letter to practitioners who are registered with the DEA to dispense controlled substances.

The 2014 legislation resulted from a concerted effort by the AVMA, our members and allied organizations. The Feb. 25 letter quotes the new law’s provision that a veterinarian “shall not be required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of a veterinary practice at a site other than the registrant’s registered principal place of business or professional practice, so long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”

“A prime example is that a veterinarian may dispense controlled substances while making ‘house calls’ (e.g., at a stable) without being registered at that location,” according to the letter. “And, in such a scenario, the veterinarian does not need to be registered with the DEA in the state where the dispensing occurs, as long as the veterinarian is registered in some other state and is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the state where the dispensing occurs.”

The letter was sent to all DEA registrants, as well as DEA field offices and diversion investigators, following discussions between DEA officials and AVMA staff.

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