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AAMC Signs Hospital Group Letter on Disposal of Controlled Substances

October 10, 2014— The AAMC joined an Oct. 6 hospital group letter  urging Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart to delay the Oct. 9 effective date of hospital-related provisions in the Sept. 9 final rule, Disposal of Controlled Substances. According to the letter, the provisions would “implement a complex web of requirements” related to the disposal of controlled substances, including certain prescription drugs.

The groups express full support for “the goals of the law on which the regulations are based” and recognize that the proper disposal of controlled substances can prevent their diversion and misuse. However, the regulations “make it nearly impossible” to “safely do so” for the small amounts that remain in syringes, IV solutions, and medicated patches. The requirements would pose “real and unacceptable” safety hazards for employees and patients.

The letter also points out that, under the regulations, physicians with privileges and agency nurses could not assist with the proper disposal and logging procedures. The hospital groups request a meeting to “discuss practical solutions” that can both accomplish the “laudable goals of the law” in a safe and practicable manner.

Joining the AAMC on the letter are America’s Essential Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Children’s Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, Premier Healthcare Alliance, and VHA, Inc.

Recipients include Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).


Christiane Mitchell
Senior Director Health Care Affairs
Telephone: 202-828-0461


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
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Telephone: 202-903-0806