DEA Enforcement Concerns – Update

We’ve previously posted information on this blog and on our online discussion boards after we heard concerns from members that a California district office of the DEA might be changing its enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Although at this time the situation appears to be limited to California, it is a symptom of an underlying, national-level problem: the CSA was not written with veterinarians and their unique circumstances in mind, and therefore does not address veterinarians’ frequent needs to transport controlled substances on house calls or farm calls. Although we’ve been assured by the national DEA office that they are understanding of veterinarians’ needs and they acknowledge the shortcomings of the CSA regarding our profession, we’re concerned that any change in this position could bring many veterinary practices to a standstill and prevent veterinarians from providing quality veterinary health care to their patients.

On April 30, we sent a letter to the Chief of the Liaison and Policy Section of the Office of Diversion Control, requesting that until the CSA is amended, the DEA exercise enforcement discretion when investigating ambulatory veterinary practitioners who are licensed by the state to practice veterinary medicine and hold a valid DEA registration for their principal place of business. 

But it certainly doesn’t end here. We are still actively involved in discussions with the DEA, and we’re also talking with Congressional offices about the issue. We promise our members that we are aggressively advocating for the profession on this issue, and we’ll keep you informed through this blog and/or NOAH as the process continues.

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