Learn about Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration (MCSR) for Practitioners

Learn more about the MCSR, application requirements, and more.

Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 94C, section 7, an MCSR is required to manufacture, distribute, prescribe, dispense, administer or possess a controlled substance. The Drug Control Program furnishes a copy of your registration to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA issues a registration number which must be used on all prescriptions for federally controlled substances (Schedules II-V) and when ordering stock of these medications for immediate treatment. During the period in which you hold only your Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration, you may conduct approved activities only with Schedule VI controlled substances. You must get both your DEA number and Massachusetts number to conduct approved activities with controlled substances in Schedules II through V.

Why do I need a Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration?

To provide accountability for controlled substances, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 94C, section 7 and regulations of the Department of Public Health at 105 CMR 700.004 require every person who manufacturers, distributes, prescribes, administers, dispenses or possesses controlled substances to be registered with both the Department of Public Health and DEA if they utilize controlled Substances in Schedules II-V. Additionally, Massachusetts law recognizes as controlled substances those prescription drugs that are not federally scheduled (Schedule VI). Practitioners who only plan to manufacture, distribute, dispense, prescribe, administer, or possess Schedule VI drugs only need to get a Massachusetts Controlled Substances registration. Well over half of the states in the country require a state controlled substances registration in addition to a DEA registration. In these cases, the DEA will not issue a registration until the practitioner has obtained a valid state controlled substances registration.

What documents must I include with my application?

To ensure that we process your application promptly, you must fill out all questions on the application in their entirety. In addition, you must include the following:

  • A check or money order in the amount of $150 made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • A copy of your current practitioner license. Without this information, we cannot process your application and we will return it to you. The license must bear an expiration date. We also accept a letter from the Board of Registration certifying this license (known as a "verbatim copy").

What address should I include on my application?

  • You must list your Massachusetts business address on the front of the application
    • If you use an out-of-state address, you must attach a letter of explanation
  • Use of your home address is not permitted unless you also maintain an office practice at that address
  • The business address must be a street address, not a post office box
  • Please be sure the address is complete
    • For example: for a hospital address, list the department name as well as the name of the hospital and the street address
  • If you wish to have the registration mailed to a different address, please note this fact on the application or in a separate letter
    • It is often advisable, for example, to have your registration mailed to your home if you have not yet begun work at the business address

What constitutes Amended information?

  • Check off amended information for any change to your previously submitted application.
  • There is no fee charged for amended information.

How many MCSRs do I need?

Most practitioners will need to register only their primary place of business. You only need a second registration if the practitioner stores stock or sample controlled substances at a second location as well. As such, working at more than one address does not necessarily require an additional registration.

For which drug schedules should I request approval?

Unless there is a restriction on the practitioner license, practitioners may request Schedules II through VI. Please contact us if you need more information on these schedules.

What is Schedule VI?

Schedule VI drugs consist of all prescription drugs which are not included in Schedules II-V. This is a special Massachusetts schedule (MGL 94C, 105CMR720.002).

When will my MCSR expire?

In most cases, the registration certificate you will receive will not show an expiration date. Until you receive a recall notice from the Department, your registration is valid as long as you maintain continuous practice in this state. This occurs approximately every three years at which time you must respond to the recall notice to maintain your registration.

What if I have a limited license?

If you are applying with a limited practitioner license, your registration will expire when the limited license expires. You must reapply to the Department with another fee payment when you receive your permanent license, and you will receive a new registration number.

What if I change my business address?

If your business address changes, your MCSR terminates at your former business address. You must re-apply for a new MCSR.

How long will it take to receive my MCSR?

You should receive your registration within 2 to 3 business weeks after we receive a completed and correct application package.


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