DEA Ruling Allows Multiple Prescriptions for Schedule II Controlled Substances

June 9, 2009

Under a new ruling by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), clinicians may begin issuing multiple prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances when appropriate.

Under a new ruling by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), clinicians may begin issuing multiple prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances when appropriate. The prescriptions will have to be filled on different dates, and the total amount of medication prescribed under the new regulations must not exceed a 90-day supply. In the past, patients had to visit their physician once a month to receive their prescriptions. This new ruling was published in the Federal Register November 19 and became effective December 19 and will make it easier for physicians to treat patients with chronic conditions who require daily medication. The DEA has previously allowed only one prescription a month for such drugs, even though physicians argued for years that those limits were unnecessary. The ruling is particularly significant to persons with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their physicians. The 2 stimulants most commonly used to treat persons with ADHD, methylphenidates and amphetamines, are regulated as Schedule II medications by the DEA. The ruling will greatly facilitate the process by which persons with ADHD may receive their medication.

“The agency’s final rule has been eagerly awaited by concerned physicians who must provide legitimate pain control,” said the American Academy of Pain Medicine. “The DEA has recognized the need for policies that support effective control of potentially abusable drugs that do not unnecessarily hinder the appropriate treatment of pain.”