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Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on DEA Number on Non-Controlled Prescriptions

Q: Must a prescription for a non-controlled substance bear the prescriber’s DEA number?

A: (Updated April 24, 2008)  As pharmacists in the state are aware, it appeared that N.C.G.S. Section 106-134.1 required a DEA number on all prescriptions, whether for a controlled substance or a non-controlled substance.  This was, of course, an extremely odd result.  And the Board of Pharmacy, in its guidance on the matter, consistently advised pharmacists not to refuse to fill a prescription for a non-controlled substance on the basis that a DEA number was lacking.  After consultation with David Henderson, Executive Director of the Medical Board, and David McLeod, Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture, our agencies are all in agreement that the statute’s reference to DEA numbers is properly read as referring only to controlled drugs mentioned in paragraph (a)(1) of the statute, and not to all legend drugs.  Accordingly, the Pharmacy and Medical Boards agree that the proper interpretation of NCGS Section 106-134.1 does NOT require that prescriptions for a non-controlled substance contain the prescriber’s DEA number.  Board staff thanks Messrs. Henderson and McLeod for showing us a way out of what had been a troubling legal issue. 


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