The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reversed a previous decision scheduled to take effect Jan. 1 that would have eliminated the informal grace period allowed for registration renewal.
Instead, DEA will retain its current policy and procedures, with one minor change: “Starting January 2017, DEA will no longer send its second renewal notification by mail. Instead, an electronic reminder to renew will be sent to the email address associated with the DEA registration.”
The AMA and other organizations expressed concern about the proposed change and the problems it could create for both patients and their physicians. In addition to eliminating the grace period, the policy change would have resulted in the “retirement” of the registrant’s DEA number if he or she failed to file a renewal application by midnight on the expiration date, and their original DEA registration would not have been reinstated.
Current policy, as posted on the DEA website, is as follows:
- If a renewal application is submitted in a timely manner prior to expiration, the registrant may continue operations, authorized by the registration, beyond the expiration date until final action is taken on the application.
- DEA allows the reinstatement of an expired registration for one calendar month after the expiration date. If the registration is not renewed within that calendar month, an application for a new DEA registration will be required.
- Regardless of whether a registration is reinstated within the calendar month after expiration, federal law prohibits the handling of controlled substances or List 1 chemicals for any period of time under an expired registration.
More information about the registration process and policy is available on the DEA website. Physicians may check their registration expiration date by contacting the DEA Registration Service Center at 800.882.9539 or via an e-mail that includes their DEA registration number.
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