Question for Docs about DEA Numbers
The occasion arose today for me to call an antibiotic prescription (ie, not a controlled substance) in to a pharmacy in another state for a vacationing patient. It was a chain store, but because they didn't have a national database I was asked to provide my DEA number along with my address and phone number.
I'm used to this by now. I understand that many insurance companies use the DEA as a unique physician identifier and so require them even for prescriptions of non-controlled substances. But it still bugs me on principle. (ie, How can I be sure that some pharmacist or tech won't swipe it to forge controlled prescriptions?)
I was feeling polite today, so all I said was, "Ok, let's just pretend I threw a hissy fit," before rattling off the number. But then the pharmacist surprised me by saying, "You know, we get docs from all fifty states calling things in here, and the only ones who have any problem giving us their DEA numbers are the docs from Pennsylvania."
So let me throw this out there: Are PA docs the only ones:
- concerned about drug diversion?
- paranoid about unauthorized use of our DEA numbers?
- insufficiently trusting of our pharmacy colleagues?
Or was this pharmacist just jerking my chain? That is, are there plenty of docs in other states also decrying the requirement to divulge their DEAs so promiscuously?