Buying The Stock Of A Pharmacy? Learn These DEA Laws First!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Pharmacies and other healthcare institutions that can legally dispense medication are vital within the industry. Regulations created by the DEA are meant to protect the security of controlled substances as well as patients. These are not all of the regulations, but some of the main laws. You may be wondering why they are relevant if you are about to purchase the stock of a pharmacy. It is important that you, as a buyer, can verify that the owner you are purchasing from has been legitimate in their dealings.

The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) from the DEA

This regulation covers the handling, storage, and distribution of controlled substances in the United States. There are some areas that all pharmacy staff should pay attention to when it comes to the CSA.

Maintaining security

If there is theft or loss of a controlled substance, the pharmacy is required by law to report to the local police department and the DEA. Another area of security includes record keeping. Staying compliant with all record retention laws protects the pharmacy staff as well as patients. Pharmacy employees must keep records of all controlled substances that move through the establishment whether they are purchased, sold, stored, distributed, received, or dispensed.

Keeping up with inventory

All pharmacies must keep a record of the controlled substances in their inventory. The record must be retained for a minimum of two years and have the following:

  • Any newly scheduled controlled substance intakes
  • Current inventories
  • Inventories for every two years

Pharmacists or pharmacy owners CAN hire an outside entity to help. Their information and what they did must be kept on file. This counts for the transfer and disposal of controlled substances as well.

Handling controlled substances

When ordering controlled substances, official order forms must be used. The transfer, distribution, and purchase of these substances also require forms. Pharmacies are only allowed to dispense controlled substances when they are presented with a valid prescription from a licensed physician. Prescriptions must include:

  • The full name and address of the patient
  • The full name and address of the medical practitioner
  • The DEA number of the practitioner
  • The name, dosage, strength, quantity, directions for use, and number of authorized refills

When dispensing a controlled substance to a patient, the label must have certain information as well.

  • The patient’s name
  • The medical practitioner’s name
  • The filling date
  • The serial number of the prescription
  • A list of directions
  • Any cautionary information and side effects

Purchasing the stock of a pharmacy

A stock purchase is often more beneficial for the seller, but it does have benefits for the buyer. It is much easier to complete than an asset purchase because there are fewer start-up processes. Also, there are not many changes that occur when it comes to billing, employees, internal processes, or tax information.

If you are considering a stock purchase, you must remember that you are putting yourself at risk if the seller is not honest. If there are any past liabilities (like tax audits, lawsuits, or legal issues with the DEA for example) you will be responsible as the new owner. That is why it is important to understand DEA regulations (and others) when buying a pharmacy.

To avoid running into any legal issues when purchasing a pharmacy, you can take some precautionary measures. Hire a transactional attorney and an attorney that has experience with healthcare regulations. They will be able to help you navigate the purchase and know what red flags to look out for. As a buyer, you should conduct due diligence research, which your attorneys can help you with as well.

Get help from experienced attorneys

If you would like more information about purchasing a pharmacy and staying compliant with DEA laws, contact an experienced attorney. At Brown & Fortunato P.C., our Healthcare and Finance & Corporate attorneys are prepared to advise you and help you complete your next transaction. You can reach us at (833) 228-6300 or Send Us an Email to speak with our professionals today.