The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking with regard to the disposal of controlled substances. These regulations seek to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (the Disposal Act, Pub. L. 111-273, 124 Stat. 2858), which amended the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and authorized DEA to develop permanent, ongoing, and responsible methods for the disposal of controlled substances that have been dispensed to an end-user.
Prior to the passage of the Disposal Act, the CSA’s closed system for controlled substance distribution did not account for circumstances in which a controlled substance was lawfully dispensed to an ultimate user (i.e., a patient) but was not fully consumed. Under the prior regulatory scheme, an end user was not authorized to transfer a controlled substance to another person, even for the purpose of disposal.
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