Alert: Senate Passes Controlled Substances Act Amendment

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Legislation to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to benefit veterinarians with ambulatory practices was passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on Jan. 8, 2014.

Current law, which seldom is enforced, prohibits the transport and use of controlled substances outside a “registered location,” such as a veterinary clinic. As written, this requirement effectively prohibits a veterinarian from transporting controlled substances in a vehicle or administering the drugs away from the practitioner’s clinic.

S. 1171 creates an exception for veterinarians transporting and dispensing controlled substances away from a registered location “in the usual course of veterinary medicine.” The exception applies when the “site of transporting and dispensing is located in a State where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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