Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

COVID-19 Information Page

COVID-19 Information Page

Suspicious Orders and Due Diligence | Prescriptions | Registration | Quota |National Drug Supply | EPCS | Telemedicine | Medication Assisted Treatment | Records and Reports | Pseudoephrine & Listed Chemicals | Contacts | Important Federal Links | Important State Links

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The mission of Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA), Diversion Control Division is to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals from legitimate sources while ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs.

During this National Emergency the Diversion Control Division is working with our Federal partners including ASPR, FEMA, HHS, FDA, ONDCP, SAMSHA, and members of the White House Task Force; DEA registrants; and representatives of the medical and health-care associations to assure that there is an adequate supply of controlled substances in the United States. The DEA will also work to assure that patients will have access to necessary drug products containing controlled substances.

Questions and Answers

Distributors

Information on Approved Alternate Satellite Locations

Suspicious Orders and Due Diligence

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Due Diligence and Knowing Your Customers.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Suspicious Orders.

Prescriptions

COVID-19 Prescribing Guidance
DEA Policy: COVID-19 Prescribing Guidance (For assistance contact Local DEA Field Office) (Effective March 31, 2020)

DEA Policy: Registrant Guidance on Controlled Substance Prescription Refills (Effective March 21, 2020)

DEA Policy: Exception to Separate Registration Requirements Across State Lines (Effective March 25, 2020)

DEA Policy: Exception to Regulations Emergency Oral CII Prescription (Effective March 28, 2020)

DEA Guidance: Q&A Remote Identity Proofing EPCS at hospital/clinics.


Registration

Registration of Emergency Temporary Sites: If you need to set up an emergency or temporary off-site location and use controlled substances, please contact DEA at Natural.Disaster@usdoj.gov. DEA will issue you a temporary registration number for each designated alternate location. This will enable the drug supply chain to continue uninterrupted and maintain patient access to needed controlled substances.

DEA Policy: Exception to Separate Registration Requirements Across State Lines (Effective March 25, 2020)

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Emergency Alternate Delivery Sites.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Registration of and delivery to Emergency "Pop-Up" Hospitals.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Customers Picking Up Controlled Substance Orders From the Distributor.

DEA Guidance: Satellite Hospital/Clinic Registration Exception (Effective April 11, 2020)

DEA Guidance: DEA Practitioners 5% Rule Exception (Effective April 13, 2020)

Quota

DEA Policy: 65% Bulk Manufacture Exception to Regulations (Effective March 26, 2020)

National Drug Supply

The DEA is aware of increased demand for drug products containing controlled substances used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. DEA is working closely with ASPR, FDA, FEMA, and other partners in monitoring the demands for these drug products to insure an uninterrupted supply during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please see the link to the FDA’s website www.fda.gov for more information on FDA’s response.

If you are a patient who has been prescribed drug products containing controlled substances, you should know that DEA works closely with DEA registered drug manufacturers, distributors and importers to insure an uninterrupted supply of drugs.

If you are a DEA registered controlled substance manufacturer, distributor or importer and are having issues with your supply chain, please contact your local DEA field office, or email DEA at: Natural.Disaster@usdoj.gov

Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substance (EPCS)

DEA Policy: Questions and Answers for Prescribing Practitioners (EPCS)

DEA Guidance: Use of Mobile Devices in the Issuance of EPCS (Effective August 16, 2018)

DEA Guidance: Q&A Remote Identity Proofing EPCS at hospital/clinics.

Telemedicine

DEA Policy: Use of Telephone Evaluations to Initiate Buprenorphine Prescribing (Effective March 31, 2020)

On January 31, 2020, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services issues a public health emergency (HHS Public Health Emergency Declaration).

Question: Can telemedicine now be used under the conditions outlined in Title 21, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 802(54)(D)?

Answer: Yes. While a prescription for a controlled substance issued by means of the Internet (including telemedicine) must generally be predicated on an in-person medical evaluation (21 U.S.C. 829(e)), the Controlled Substances Act contains certain exceptions to this requirement. One such exception occurs when the Secretary of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency under 42 U.S.C. 247d (section 319 of the Public Health Service Act), as set forth in 21 U.S.C. 802(54)(D). Secretary Azar declared such a public health emergency with regard to COVID-19 on January 31, 2020 (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/01/31/secretary-azar-declares-public-health-emergency-us-2019-novel-coronavirus.html). On March 16, 2020, the Secretary, with the concurrence of the Acting DEA Administrator, designated that the telemedicine allowance under section 802(54)(D) applies to all schedule II-V controlled substances in all areas of the United States. Accordingly, as of March 16, 2020, and continuing for as long as the Secretary’s designation of a public health emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners in all areas of the United States may issue prescriptions for all schedule II-V controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice;
  • The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system; and
  • The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws.

Provided the practitioner satisfies the above requirements, the practitioner may issue the prescription using any of the methods of prescribing currently available and in the manner set forth in the DEA regulations. Thus, the practitioner may issue a prescription either electronically (for schedules II-V) or by calling in an emergency schedule II prescription to the pharmacy, or by calling in a schedule III-V prescription to the pharmacy.

The term "practitioner" in this context includes a physician, dentist, veterinarian, or other person licensed, registered, or otherwise permitted, by the United States or the jurisdiction in which s/he practices to prescribe controlled substances in the course of his/her professional practice (21 U.S.C. 802(21)).

Important note: If the prescribing practitioner has previously conducted an in-person medical evaluation of the patient, the practitioner may issue a prescription for a controlled substance after having communicated with the patient via telemedicine, or any other means, regardless of whether a public health emergency has been declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, so long as the prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose and the practitioner is acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice. In addition, for the prescription to be valid, the practitioner must comply with applicable Federal and State laws.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

DEA Policy: Use of Unregistered Off-Site Locations in MAT (Effective April 7, 2020)

DEA Policy: Use of Unregistered Off-Site Locations in MAT (Buprenorphine)(Effective April 28, 2020)

DEA Policy: Use of Telephone Evaluations to Initiate Buprenorphine Prescribing (Effective March 31, 2020)

DEA Guidance: Exemption Allowing Alternate Delivery Methods for OTPs (Effective March 16, 2020)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): OTP Update Page

SAMHSA: COVID-19 Guidance for Opioid Treatment Programs

DEA Guidance: Q&A Methadone Shortages

DEA Guidance: Distributor shipments to NTP's signed delivery exception (Effective April 11, 2020)

Records and Reports

DEA Guidance: Q&A Conducting Biennial Inventories During the COVID-19 Health Emergency

DEA Policy: Exception to Regulations to Email or Fax DEA Form 222s (Effective March 26, 2020)

DEA Guidance: Q&A concerning physically signing manifests as proof of delivery.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Deliveries of Controlled Substances to Safe Zone.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Faxing and Scanning DEA Form 222s.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Emergency Alternate Delivery Sites.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Registration of and delivery to Emergency "Pop-Up" Hospitals.

DEA Guidance: Q&A Concerning Customers Picking Up Controlled Substance Orders From the Distributor.

DEA Guidance: DEA Practitioners 5% Rule Exception (Effective April 13, 2020)

Pseudoephedrine And Listed Chemicals

DEA Guidance: Q&A Signing of A Log Book When Purchasing Pseudoephedrine

Important DEA Contacts:

Diversion Control Division (DEA HQ)

Find Your Local Diversion Field Office

Contact Local Registration Specialist

Liaison Section

Natural Disaster (COVID-19)

Policy Section

Important Federal Links

Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

DEA Significant Guidance Document Portal

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Coronavirus.gov

Important State Links

EO13891 Disclaimer: Guidance documents are not binding and lack the force and effect of law, unless expressly authorized by statute or expressly incorporated into a contract, grant, or cooperative agreement. Consistent with Executive Order 13891 and the Office of Management and Budget implementing memoranda, the Department will not cite, use, or rely on any guidance not so authorized or incorporated that is not accessible through this guidance portal, except to establish historical facts. To the extent any guidance document sets out voluntary standards (e.g., recommended practices), compliance with those standards is voluntary, and noncompliance will not result in enforcement action. Guidance documents may be rescinded or modified in the Department’s complete discretion, consistent with applicable laws.

Emergency Disaster Relief
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal here.
RX Abuse Online

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE  •  DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
Diversion Control Division  •  8701 Morrissette Drive  •  Springfield, VA 22152  •  1-800-882-9539

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