For the record: Controlled substances


What should I document when dispensing controlled substances?

Q What should I document when dispensing controlled substances?

First things first: To comply with federal law, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requires that at least one veterinarian obtain a DEA license before a clinic can dispense controlled drugs. But to reduce liability and increase efficiency within a practice, Dr. Karl Salzsieder with Salzsieder Consulting and Legal Services in Longview, Wash., encourages all veterinarians to obtain a license. As for record keeping, Dr. Salzsieder says, at a minimum, you should write down the following:

  • client's full name and address

  • drug given and intent of use

  • quantity of drug dispensed

  • date of transaction

Karl Salszieder

For each purchase, you also need to get the client's signature and compare it to his or her ID. "Some states could have more stringent laws or regulations that should be checked by each practice in their respective states," he says.

Dr. Salzsieder also recommends keeping a separate inventory book of controlled drugs. "Make copies of invoices from the suppliers and keep them in this book," he says. "That way, if audited, you have a record of what came in and what went out." You should review and balance your logs monthly to make sure they're being properly kept. "The penalties for unlawful dispensing are four years or less in prison, a fine no greater than $30,000, or both," he says.

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