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DEA sets new registration fees

March 14, 2012

By Craig Palmer, ADA News staff

Washington—The Drug Enforcement Administration scheduled a mid-April fee increase for new and renewing registrants, rejecting an Association objection to the agency’s fee calculation methodology.

Dentists who prescribe controlled pain medication will pay a three-year registration fee of $731 or approximately $244 annually under the new fee schedule, which the DEA planned to announce in mid-March. The current fees were set in 2006.

DEA registration fees affect a wide variety of entities including dentists, physicians, pharmacies, hospitals/clinics and professional schools that register every three years for locations where controlled substances are handled.

The ADA objected to the method the DEA used to calculate the new fee schedule, which amounts to a $60-a-year increase over the current fee. In a draft notice scheduled for Federal Register publication, the DEA said that “one association” commented about “the unfairness of the 'weighted-ratio’ methodology for fee calculation.”

The focus of DEA’s methodology is to account for Diversion Control Program costs among registrant categories and not to set fees according to registrant revenue or income from use of a DEA registration, the agency said. “DEA continues to review possible methodologies as technology continues to afford increased tracking and allocation of specific costs. However, at this time, DEA has determined that it is both practicable and reasonable to continue to apply the weighted-ratio methodology.”