Requirements for reporting a loss of controlled substances

Learn about what licensed health care facilities must do when reporting thefts or losses of controlled substances.

Every licensed health care facility must report the theft or loss of controlled substances. You must immediately report it to the Drug Control Program (DCP) by telephone. You must then follow it up in writing within 7 days of the incident.

Facilities licensed by the Division of Health Care Quality (DHCQ)

In January this year, the Department modified its requirements for reporting the theft or loss of controlled substances by licensed health care facilities. Facilities licensed by the DHCQ are no longer required to notify the DHCQ in addition to the Drug Control Program for these thefts or losses.

The DCP is the primary agency within the Department charged with investigating cases involving the theft or loss of controlled substances. DCP will notify DHCQ of these reports.

Licensees are still mandated to contact DHCQ to report other types of reportable incidents occurring within the facility (e.g. patient harm).

Always report, even for one unit

The Department considers the loss of one unit of medication to be significant enough to warrant a report of such loss. Such thefts or losses may be part of a pattern within a facility or among several area institutions. Please consult with the Boston Field Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration for further guidelines on reporting thefts or loss of controlled substances to federal agencies.

Long term care settings

Please note that a DEA Form 106 is not necessary in a long term care setting. However, you must still report the loss must to the Department.

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