DEA expands options for controlled substances disposal

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Disposing of federally controlled substances has gotten a lot easier for animal owners and veterinarians.

U.S. Department of Justice logoDrug Enforcement Administration regulations implemented Oct. 9 now allow veterinary clients to relinquish unwanted and outdated animal drugs through take-back events, via return mail, and at designated collection locations. Disposal options for veterinarians were also expanded to include on-site destruction and easier means for returns, recalls, and reverse distribution.

The AVMA, which had been working with the DEA for less restrictive disposal regulations, welcomed the agency’s decision. “This will benefit veterinarians, animal owners, and the environment alike by expanding options and reducing complications and confusion,” explained Dr. Kristi Henderson, acting director of the AVMA Scientific Activities Division.

“Additionally, there should be fewer instances of controlled substances toxicoses in humans and animals, and there should be a reduction in the amount of these products entering our nation’s waters,” she said.

The AVMA has updated its online information to reflect the regulatory changes made by the DEA. Key resources include the following:

  • The AVMA microsite “Waste Disposal by Veterinary Practices: What Goes Where?”. This members-only resource provides pages on topics such as Drug and Chemical Disposal and Federal Regulation of Waste Disposal.
  • This site, which is accessible by the public and provides readers with general information regarding pharmaceutical disposal and will soon have information for owners specifically on the new regulations pertaining to disposal of unwanted or expired controlled substances.

The AVMA’s policy on “Client Disposal of Controlled Substances” is currently being reviewed by AVMA leadership with input from AVMA members.