CVC Kansas City: Drug use, monitoring remains key legal issues for veterinarians, expert says

Aug 29, 2010
By staff
Kansas City -- Of all the regulatory issues veterinarians face, the use and storage of controlled substances, like ketamine, can be the most contentious.

"Record-keeping for legend drugs is important, but the drugs that will really get you into trouble are controlled substances," says Greg Dennis, a veterinary lawyer with Kent T. Perry & Co. L.C. He made the remarks recently at CVC Kansas City.

When it comes to use and storage of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) schedule drugs, which have a high risk for abuse or theft, veterinarians need to maintain accurate and complete drug records for the controlled substances in two locations -- one in the patient record and another in a controlled substances log book. It's not good enough to only update your records one of those files, Dennis says.

"Every year, you have to make a count, and I strongly recommend you make a count at the beginning and end of the business day," Dennis says.

While minor discrepancies are tolerated in missing stock, DEA is very concerned about larger shortages of scheduled substances.

Complete and thorough record-keeping can go a long way to staying in compliance, Dennis adds.