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AHE seeks changes to proposed controlled substances disposal rule

February 20, 2013

A proposal to require health care providers to use a paper form to record when controlled substances are destroyed fails to acknowledge that hospitals are using automated drug dispensing machines to document the information and would increase the paperwork burden for clinicians, the Association for the Healthcare Environment told the Drug Enforcement Administration yesterday. "Returning to a paper Form 41 would not only be burdensome and take away time from bedside care, it may provide decreased functionality with respect to identifying diversion," wrote AHE Executive Director Patti Costello, commenting on a proposed rule governing the secure disposal of controlled substances by DEA registrants and drug users. Among other issues, AHE requested changes to the rule's definition for "authorized employees" allowed to destroy controlled substances, and expressed concern that DEA does not specify what it considers to be a non-retrievable substance. AHE is an AHA personal membership group.