Controlled Substances (COVID-19)
Due to the SC State of Emergency regarding COVID-19, The Bureau of Drug Control has extended the expiration date for SC Controlled Substances Registrations that are expiring on April 01, 2020, to April 30, 2020.
Fees may be paid by credit card or electronic check via the Payment Portal at https://web.sc.gov/dheconlineinvoicepaymentsystem/invoicegroupselection.aspx.
Regardless of how you pay the registration fee, the completed renewal application must be returned to our office for processing.
Your invoice number is located at the top left corner of the renewal application and begins with “DC.”
If you wish to pay by paper check, then the application and check must be submitted via regular US Postal Mail, FedEX, or UPS to either of the below addresses:
US Postal Mailing Address:
SC DHEC Financial Management
PO Box 100103
Columbia, SC 29202
Overnight Mailing Address:
SC DHEC Bureau of Drug Control
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
ONE TIME early refill
As our state continues to respond to COVID-19, SC DHEC Bureau of Drug Control hereby authorizes a ONE TIME early refill of Schedule III-V prescriptions for valid refills that are due within the next seven (7) days.
Dispensers shall pull all original controlled substances prescriptions and document any early refill information in full detail; including, but not limited to, the date, time, reason for early refill, and the pharmacist signature associated with the transaction. Compliance with this Order supersedes any conflicting requirement of Regulation 61-4.
Schedule II Medications
- In the case of an emergency situation, a pharmacist may dispense a controlled substance listed in Schedule II upon receiving oral authorization of a prescribing individual practitioner, provided that:
- The quantity prescribed and dispensed is limited to the amount adequate to treat the patient during the emergency period (dispensing beyond the emergency period shall be pursuant to a written prescription signed by the prescribing individual practitioner);
- The prescription shall be immediately reduced to writing by the pharmacist and shall contain all information requested in § 1003, except for the signature of the prescribing individual practitioner;
- If the prescribing individual practitioner is not known to the pharmacist, he or she shall make a reasonable effort to determine that the oral authorization came from a registered individual practitioner, which may include a callback to the prescribing individual practitioner using his or her phone number as listed in the telephone directory and/or other good faith efforts to insure his or her identity; and
- Within 72 hours after authorizing an emergency oral prescription, the prescribing individual practitioner shall cause a written prescription for the emergency quantity prescribed to be delivered to the dispensing pharmacist. In addition to conforming to the requirements of § 1003, the prescription shall have written on its face, "Authorization for Emergency Dispensing," and the date of the oral order. The written prescription may be delivered to the pharmacist in person or by mail; however, if delivered by mail, it shall be postmarked within the 72-hour period. Upon receipt, the dispensing pharmacist shall attach this prescription to the oral emergency prescription, which had earlier been reduced to writing. The pharmacist shall notify the Bureau Director if the prescribing individual practitioner fails to deliver a written prescription to him or her; failure of the pharmacist to do so shall void the authority conferred by this paragraph to dispense without a written prescription of a prescribing individual practitioner.
SC Controlled Substances Registration Renewals
Providers and Facilities that missed their, renewal deadline will not be able to renew by submitting their payment through the online payment portal on this website. Payments submitted via the online payment portal, will be credited back to the credit card account. Checks and/or money orders, will be returned.
In order to reinstate an expired registration, a new application must be submitted with a payment of the registration fee plus a $100 penalty fee. Visit DHEC's New Registrations page. All applications must be submitted via regular US Postal mail to the Bureau of Financial Management. Processing time is approximately 12-15 business days.
Providers are not authorized to prescribe, administer, possess or dispense controlled substances until their SC Controlled Substances Registration is reinstated.
DHEC's Bureau of Drug Control enforces the S.C. Controlled Substances Act, which closely parallels the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The S.C. Controlled Substances Act:
- Requires that every person or entity who engages in controlled substances activity in South Carolina:
- Empowers DHEC to decrease the diversion of controlled substances from legal sources to illegal ones by maintaining a closed system of distribution
- Authorizes DHEC to use South Carolina licensed pharmacists who are also commissioned as state law enforcement officers (Section 44-53-480). These pharmacists have received certification training at the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy.
We typically conduct 750 to 850 annual site inspections of pharmacies, hospitals, and practitioners. Our inspectors:
- Make sure that registrants are properly maintaining records and accountability and storing controlled substances securely
- Make recommendations and offer assistance to help registrants follow proper procedures in the handling of controlled substances
- Conduct 75‑100 in‑depth, onsite accountability audits of controlled substances stocked by pharmacies, hospitals, and practitioners. Some audits are performed randomly and routinely even though no problems are suspected or anticipated. Other audits are performed where routine inspections have revealed unacceptable record keeping or potential diversion, or where complaints have been received about possible diversion activity.
Violations and discrepancies discovered during investigations, inspections or audits may lead the BDC to take administrative action against a facility or practitioner.
In most cases, the BDC and the DHEC legal office issue an Order to Show Cause. The order requires that a facility's designated representative or an individual practitioner appear at an informal pre‑hearing conference.
Most matters are resolved at these pre‑hearing conferences, usually through the issuance of an Administrative Consent Order. An Administrative Consent Order imposes sanctions and, in some cases, monetary fines. The fines are forwarded to the S.C. Department of Mental Health for use in state alcohol and drug treatment centers.
We receive 750 to 1,000 complaints each year involving diversion of controlled substances from legal outlets. About 450-500 of the complaints typically result in the arrest and prosecution of individuals in state or federal court. Approximately 25 percent of those prosecuted are healthcare professionals.