The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provides minimum requirements for storage of controlled substances for practitioners to prevent diversion or theft of controlled substances, and these guidelines are generally seen as best practice for all medications. Controlled substances must be stored in a securely locked cabinet of “substantial construction”. The DEA provides more details on what they mean by “substantial construction” on their website:
Even though the Federal regulations do not specifically define locked cabinet construction, the intent of the law is that controlled substances must be adequately safeguarded. Therefore, depending on other security measures, a wooden cabinet may or may not be considered adequate. In an area with a high crime rate, a strong metal cabinet or safe may be required.
Some of the factors considered when evaluating a practitioner’s controlled substances security include :
- The number of employees, customers and/or patients who have access to the controlled substances.
- The location of the registrant (high or low crime area).
- Use of an effective alarm system.
- Quantity of controlled substances to be kept on hand.
- Prior history of theft or diversion.
Please consult the DEA website for more information. It is also recommended that you consult your state and local requirements as they may differ from the federal regulations.
If you have any specific questions about medication storage or PharmaLink’s services, or if you’re ready to get started please contact us and a representative will be in touch with you shortly.