D. Linden Barber

DEA Chronicles Blog Feed

http://deachronicles.quarles.com/

DEA Chronicles is our blog dedicated to helping you comply with DEA requirements for controlled substance distribution and prescription dispensing -- and all that comes along with it. The blog is led by Quarles & Brady’s premier DEA Compliance and Litigation Practice Group leaders, Linden Barber and Larry Cote, former senior-level DEA attorneys, the only practicing attorneys with substantial DEA compliance experience to leave DEA’s Office of Chief Counsel in nearly 20 years.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Recently, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy adopted a new rule for wholesale distributors, requiring that they report suspicious orders to the Board for review. The rule goes into effect on July 1, 2017. The adoption of the new rule followed several recent settlements by wholesale distributors around the country, who are facing severe penalties for failing to report suspicious orders of controlled substances to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The new regulation states: A wholesale distributor must notify the Board in writing of suspicious... More
  • The opioid crisis in the United States continues to worsen, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting more than 33,000 human deaths by overdose in 2015 – up from about 29,000 in 2014 and quadruple the number in 1999. As in-house counsel from some of the nation’s 65,000 retail pharmacies prepare to meet in Chicago for Quarles & Brady’s 2017 Pharmacy Law Symposium this July, partners Amy Cotton Peterson and Roger Morris discussed the opioid epidemic. The partners also discussed... More
  • The battle is over! For now. Yesterday, Alabama lawmakers blocked the proposal to move Alprazolam into Schedule II, as well as blocking the other proposed changes described in this series of client updates. See here and here. The pharmacy community in Alabama took an active role in opposing these changes. According to this article from Alabama Live, members of the Alabama Pharmacy Association opposed this change and as noted in our most recent update, the Alabama Board of Pharmacy was also... More
  • As an update to our January 9, 2017 blog post, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has continued with its efforts to make Alprazolam a Schedule II drug, along with rescheduling all other benzodiazepines from Schedule IV to Schedule III. The rule change would also reschedule pregabalin from Schedule V to Schedule IV and reschedule zolpidem from Schedule IV to Schedule III. The proposed rule was passed by the State Committee of Public Health and is currently scheduled to be... More
  • An Oklahoma doctor wrote 19 Schedule II controlled substance prescriptions for a patient with low back pain over eight months without thoroughly documenting the patient’s history, confronting the patient over aberrant drug tests, or talking to other doctors who were prescribing the patient controlled substances. The Chief Administrative Law Judge felt the doctor should be granted a new registration, but placed on probation for one year. Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg disagreed. He reviewed the case and concluded that DEA proved... More
  • The Washington Post reported last week that it obtained sealed court documents describing how National Football League teams have violated federal prescription drug laws regarding the storage, tracking, transportation, and distribution of controlled substances. The documents—prepared by lawyers representing more than 1,800 former professional football players—include testimony and records that implicate all 32 NFL teams and a number of league personnel. Plaintiffs filed Evans v. Arizona Cardinals Football Club, LLC in the U.S. District Court of Northern California in May 2015,... More
  • Alabama is considering making alprazolam a Schedule II substance under state law. Our colleague, Susan Trujillo, reports on this proposed rule which also proposes up-scheduling other benzodiazepines, pregabalin and zolpidem. DEA registrants are required to follow the stricter of federal law or applicable state law.  Up-scheduling of controlled substances at the state level often changes recordkeeping, reporting, prescribing and security obligations. In recent years, state scheduling actions have also been a harbinger of rescheduling actions by DEA. Some states took action... More
  • We recently reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was changing its longstanding policy of allowing for a grace period for registrants who file an untimely application for renewal. This notice was posted on the homepage of DEA’s Office of Diversion Control’s website. A Revised Announcement Regarding Renewal Applications is now posted on DEA’s website indicating that, except for one minor change, DEA is retaining its current policy and procedures regarding registration renewals. The announcement now reads: Starting January 2017, DEA will no longer... More
  • On November 10, 2016, the DEA issued its final decision and order in the case against Jones Total Health Care Pharmacy, L.L.C. (“Jones Pharmacy”) and SND Health Care L.L.C. (“SND”). The Administrator ordered that the DEA deny Jones Pharmacy’s registration renewal application and also deny SND’s pending registration application. These orders were consistent with the Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ’s”) recommendations, which were largely based on circumstantial evidence that Jones Pharmacy ignored “red flags” that prescriptions it dispensed were not for a... More
  • DEA recently announced a significant change to its registration renewal process. For several years, DEA’s registration unit has allowed for a grace period for registrants who file an untimely application for renewal.  While DEA’s regulations do not contemplate such a grace period, registrants, especially individual practitioners, were allowed to keep their existing registration number — which was considered valid and active during the grace period — despite the failure to file a timely renewal application and despite multiple notifications from DEA.On... More