Through a notice on its website, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced significant changes to its registration renewal process. Effective January 1, 2017, the DEA is eliminating the informal grace period which the agency has previously allowed for registrants to renew their registrations. Only one renewal notice will be sent to each registrant’s "mail to" address approximately 65 days prior to the expiration date; no other reminders to renew the DEA registration will be provided. The notice also advises that online capability to renew a DEA registration after the expiration date will no longer be available, and that failure to file a renewal application by midnight EST of the expiration date will result in the "retirement" of the registrant's DEA number. The original DEA registration will not be reinstated. In addition, paper renewal applications will not be accepted the day after the expiration date. If DEA has not received the paper renewal application by the day of the expiration date, mailed in renewal applications will be returned and the registrant will have to apply for a new DEA registration.
The AMA has strongly expressed concerns to DEA about this change in policy and the problems it could create for both patients and their physicians. In letters sent Friday, December 9 to DEA Acting Administrator Charles Rosenberg and Louis Milione (Assistant Administrator for Diversion Control), the AMA urged DEA to reverse the change to the renewal process.