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

Pharmacist's Manual - APPENDIX A-N

Appendix B

Definitions Based on the Controlled Substances Act and the Code of Federal Regulations


The direct application of a controlled substance to the body of a patient or research subject by 1) a practitioner or (in his/her presence) by his/her authorized agent, or 2) the patient or research subject at the direction and in the presence of the practitioner, whether such application is by injection, inhalation, ingestion, or any other means.

Central Fill Pharmacy

A pharmacy which is permitted by the state in which it is located to prepare controlled substance orders for dispensing pursuant to a valid prescription transmitted to it by a registered retail pharmacy and to return the labeled and filled prescriptions to the retail pharmacy for delivery to the ultimate user. Such central fill pharmacy shall be deemed "authorized" to fill prescriptions on behalf of a retail pharmacy only if the retail pharmacy and central fill pharmacy have a contractual relationship providing for such activities or share a common owner.


Please see the definitions for List I Chemical, Retail Distributor and Scheduled Listed Chemical Product.


To deliver a controlled substance to an ultimate user or research subject by, or pursuant to the lawful order of, a practitioner, including the prescribing and administering of a controlled substance and the packaging, labeling, or compounding necessary to prepare the substance for such delivery.

Individual Practitioner

A physician, dentist, veterinarian, or other individual licensed, registered or otherwise permitted, by the United States or the jurisdiction in which they practice, to dispense a controlled substance in the course of professional practice, but does not include a pharmacist, a pharmacy, or an institutional practitioner.

Institutional Practitioner

A hospital or other person (other than an individual) licensed, registered or otherwise permitted, by the United States or the jurisdiction in which it practices, to dispense a controlled substance in the course of professional practice, but does not include a pharmacy.


All factory and branch stocks in finished form of a basic class of controlled substance manufactured or otherwise acquired by a registrant, whether in bulk, commercial containers, or contained in pharmaceutical preparations in the possession of the registrant (including stocks held by the registrant under separate registration as a manufacturer, importer, exporter, or distributor).

List I Chemical

A chemical specifically designated by the [DEA] Administrator in 21 C.F.R. § 1310.02(a)...
that, in addition to legitimate uses, is used in manufacturing a controlled substance in violation of the [Controlled Substances] Act and is important to the manufacture of a controlled substance.

Long Term Care Facility (LTCF)

A nursing home, retirement care, mental care, or other facility or institution that provides extended health care to resident patients.

Mid-level Practitioner (MLP)

An individual practitioner, other than a physician, dentist, veterinarian, or podiatrist, who is licensed, registered or otherwise permitted by the United States or the jurisdiction in which he/she practices, to dispense a controlled substance in the course of professional practice. Examples of MLPs include, but are not limited to, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants who are authorized to dispense controlled substances by the state in which they practice. Because this authority varies greatly by state, check with the state licensing authority to determine which MLP disciplines are authorized to dispense controlled substances in a particular state or visit, www.DEAdiversion.usdoj.gov (click on Registration Support, then Resources, then Mid-level Practitioners Authorization by State).

Online Pharmacy

An online pharmacy is a person, entity, or Internet site, whether in the United States or abroad, that knowingly or intentionally delivers, distributes, or dispenses, or offers or attempts to deliver, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance by means of the Internet.


Any pharmacist licensed by a state to dispense controlled substances, and shall include any other person (e.g., pharmacist intern) authorized by a state to dispense controlled substances under the supervision of a pharmacist licensed by such state.


An order for medication which is dispensed to or for an ultimate user but does not include an order for medication which is dispensed for immediate administration to the ultimate user (e.g., an order to dispense a drug to a bed patient for immediate administration in a hospital is not a prescription).

Readily Retrievable

Certain records which are kept by automatic data processing systems or other electronic or mechanized recordkeeping systems in such a manner that they can be separated out from all other records in a reasonable time and/or records kept in such a manner that certain items are asterisked, redlined, or in some other manner visually identifiable apart from other items appearing on the records.

 Regulated Seller

A retail distributor (including a pharmacy or a mobile retail vendor), except that the term does not include an employee or agent of the distributor. 

Retail Distributor

A grocery store, general merchandise store, drug store, or other entity or person whose activities as a distributor relating to drug products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine are limited almost exclusively to sales for personal use, both in number of sales and volume of sales, either directly to walk-in customers or in face-to-face transactions by direct sales.

Scheduled Listed Chemical Product (SLCP)

A product that contains ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine which may be marketed or distributed lawfully in the United States under the Federal, Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as a nonprescription drug. Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine include their salts, optical isomers, and salts of optical isomers.

Ultimate User

A person who has lawfully obtained, and who possesses, a controlled substance for his [her] own use or for the use of a member of his [her] household or for an animal owned by him [her] or by a member of his [her] household.

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