Navigating Virginia's Controlled Substance Compliance Changes with First Due Medications 

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The First Due Media Team

May 23, 2024

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In the dynamic landscape of emergency medical services (EMS), staying compliant with regulatory changes is paramount. Virginia's evolving controlled substance compliance measures present new challenges for EMS agencies, particularly in managing medications effectively. At First Due, we understand the importance of adapting to these changes and are committed to empowering Fire and EMS agencies with advanced features to ensure compliance and enhance operational efficiency.

Understanding the Changes

Virginia's hospitals and health systems, along with health system pharmacists, have historically supported EMS agencies by providing pre-filled drug kit exchange systems and single replenishments of used or expired drugs. However, multiple regulatory changes by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will soon discontinue these practices. Specifically:

  • FDA Regulations: Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), effective November 27, 2024, regulated products must be tracked and traced through each step in the chain to the patient. While EMS agencies are exempt, hospitals and health system pharmacies are not, impacting pre-filled drug kit exchanges and single drug replenishment models.
  • DEA Regulations: Pending final publication, the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medication Act (PPAEMA) will require EMS agencies administering controlled substances (Schedules II-V) to obtain state controlled substances and DEA registration, and to maintain and administer their own controlled substances.

Why It is Happening

These changes are driven by federal regulatory goals to enhance tracking and reporting of controlled substances, ensuring patient safety, and preventing narcotic diversion. As a result, the traditional model of hospital and health system-provided pre-filled drug kit exchanges will no longer be viable.

Virginia's Response

Virginia's Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, and other stakeholders have actively participated in the Virginia Regional EMS Medication Kit Transition Workgroup to ensure a safe transition. This collaborative effort aims to support EMS agencies as they adapt to these regulatory changes. The Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) in Virginia is advocating for emergency regulations and providing recommendations to ease the transition.

Adapting to the Changes

EMS agencies must now develop new systems and supply chains to maintain and administer their own medication supplies, beginning November 27, 2024. Single drug replenishment may still be possible but will require significant infrastructure to meet FDA and DEA expectations.

While these changes pose logistical challenges, adopting the right software solution is crucial. The appropriate software can streamline medication management, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and enhance operational efficiency. At First Due, we offer a comprehensive suite of features tailored to the unique needs of Fire and EMS agencies.

Choosing the Right Software Solution

First Due Medications provides customizable inventory management, real-time reporting, and compliance tracking to empower agencies in navigating regulatory complexities confidently. Our commitment to technological innovation and regulatory compliance ensures that your agency remains at the forefront of emergency medical services.

Experience the power of First Due Medications and unlock your agency's full potential in medication management. Together, let us navigate Virginia's controlled substance compliance changes and keep our communities safe.

As EMS agencies navigate these regulatory changes, collaboration with software providers like First Due is essential. Our advanced solutions and dedicated support can help your agency stay ahead of evolving compliance requirements. By integrating First Due Medications, your agency will not only meet new regulatory standards but also enhance overall efficiency and patient care.

Explore how First Due empowers Fire and EMS agencies with advanced features to effectively track and manage controlled substances and other medical inventory.
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