Given the problems made manifest by the opioid crisis in Texas and all over America, the Drug Enforcement Agency has made it necessary for any practitioner of medical arts to register with the Agency to prescribe or dispense controlled substances. This applies not only to physicians administering care to humans but also to veterinarians. And the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has reinforced this regime by adopting language in its rules that undergird the necessity of registration.
According to the rule (found at 22 Texas Administrative Code section 573.43),
“(a) A licensed veterinarian shall comply with all requirements of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regarding controlled substance registration.
(b) A licensed veterinarian registered with the DEA must comply with all relevant state and federal statutes and rules, including but not limited to Chapter 481 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 13 of Part 1 of Title 37 of the Texas Administrative Code, and Chapter 13 of Title 21 of United States Code.”
So if a veterinary practice uses any controlled substances as part of their care-giving, registration with the DEA is required. However, this does not necessarily mean that every practitioner or subordinate in a practice need be registered. In a document providing guidance called “Practitioner’s Manual: An Information Outline of the Controlled Substances Act,” the DEA provides a selection of Questions and Answers, in which it clarifies that,
“An individual practitioner who is an agent or employee of another practitioner (other than a mid-level practitioner) registered to dispense controlled substances may, when acting in the normal course of business or employment, administer or dispense (other than by issuance of prescription) controlled substances if and to the extent that such individual practitioner is authorized or permitted to do so by the jurisdiction in which he or she practices, under the registration of the employer or principal practitioner in lieu of being registered him/herself.”
If your veterinary license has been threatened due to some perceived breach of the registration requirements, you should contact a professional license attorney. BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the appeals process before the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. We are skilled at assisting professionals in determining the course of action that will be beneficial or detrimental to their career, depending on the particular situation. Immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review the risk to your license helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.
With offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, we serve medical professional clients all over the state. Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.