State Controlled Substance Registration

Physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners navigating their state’s controlled substance registration process are faced with lengthy application requirements. As medical licensing professionals, we are here to help our clients complete these applications and answer any questions that may arise regarding controlled substance licenses. Application requirements vary by state, but we have identified several common pitfalls and aspects to consider for anyone applying for controlled substance registration.

What Type of Controlled Substance License Do You Need?

It is important to understand the difference between a Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) certificate and a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) certificate. A CDS license is simply authorization from the state allowing licensed health care practitioners to work with controlled substances. A DEA license number is assigned to a health care provider by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to allow the practitioner to write prescriptions for controlled substances. With respect to licensed health care practitioners, their professional practice acts allow for specific authority to prescribe, administer or dispense medications, including controlled substances. However, all qualified practitioners are required to have a DEA certificate to write prescriptions for controlled substances. Some states also require practitioners to hold a CDS certificate in addition to a DEA certificate.

What to Expect on Controlled Substance Licensure Applications

Before jumping into the controlled substance licensure process, determine first if the facility in which you will be working holds a controlled substance license. This step is crucial as some states require facilities to be licensed first before practitioners are able to apply for a controlled substance registration, while others allow applicants to apply for both the license and a controlled substance registration concurrently. Although controlled substance licensure applications vary by state, many ask for the following information:

  • Business entity information
  • Information about the individual or pharmacist with administrative/managerial responsibility for the facility
  • Legal and disciplinary history for the key members of the entity
  • Ownership and management information
  • Which schedules of controlled substances the facility will deal with
  • A blueprint of the facility (usually for pharmacies)
  • Articles of incorporation or a certificate of authority for foreign entities
  • A signed affidavit stating that the signator has paid all relevant taxes and meets all relevant educational, training and experience requirements.

Maintaining Controlled Substance Licenses

Controlled substance licenses must be maintained similarly to any other license. Although some states have biennial or triennial renewal periods, they typically expire annually. In order for you to remain in good standing at your facility, a renewal application and fee must be submitted prior to the expiration date of the registration. We can complete the DEA registration process for any of our clients who prescribe controlled substances, whether registering for the first time, renewing or planning a move to another state. For providers needing a state-level CDS license, we can prepare the necessary paperwork on your behalf for any of the following states that currently require a state-level controlled substance registration: AL, CT, DE, DC, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MA, MI, MO, NV, NJ, NM, OK, RI, SC, SD, UT and WY.

Engaging Expert Assistance

Engaging an experienced medical licensing service makes sense, especially when the intricacies of controlled substance licenses are involved. Whether you have a blemished record, practice in multiple states, are in a pinch for time or would rather not spend your valuable time completing application paperwork, we can help. To have all your controlled substance-related questions answered and for a free consultation on your unique situation, call us today at 850.433.4600.