Louisiana Board of Pharmacy - State of Louisiana

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does "CDS" mean?
CDS is the acronym for Controlled Dangerous Substances, and this term is synonymous with the term "controlled substances." Both of these terms are used to describe those medications subject to certain restrictions on their use. Examples of controlled substances include amphetamines, narcotics and other opiates, anabolic steroids, and benzodiazepines.
The U. S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 established the five schedules of controlled substances, and they are enumerated in 21 USC 812 as well as 21 CFR 1308. The Louisiana version of the controlled substances schedules are enumerated in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, more specifically in La R.S. 40:964, as well as the relevant section of the administrative code, more specifically at LAC 46:LIII.2703. For a current list of controlled substances, you may consult any of several websites, including the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) site at www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov, or the Board of Pharmacy's site at www.pharmacy.la.gov. You may also consult the Board's publication, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy Laws and Regulations.

What is a CDS license and how is it different from a DEA registration?
The U. S. Congress established the DEA and charged that federal agency with administering the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA requires any person who wishes to manufacture, distribute, procure, possess, prescribe, dispense, or conduct research with any controlled substance to apply to that agency for a registration, and to possess a DEA registration before engaging in any of those activities. Upon receipt of an application for a DEA registration, that agency will seek to confirm with the appropriate state agency that the applicant possesses the authority from the state government to perform the stated activity.

It is the state legislature that provides the authority for certain groups of people to manufacture, distribute, procure, possess, prescribe, dispense, or conduct research with controlled substances; in most cases, professional practice acts contain the authority to work with controlled substances. The CDS license is simply the manifestation of the state's authority to work with controlled substances. The CDS license is supplied to the DEA to demonstrate eligibility for a DEA registration. In Louisiana, one must possess both a CDS license and a DEA registration to manufacture, distribute, procure, possess, prescribe, dispense, or conduct research with controlled substances.

With respect to licensed health care practitioners, their professional practice acts provide specific authority to prescribe, administer, or dispense medications, including controlled substances.  We encourage practitioners to contact their primary licensing agency to determine the rules and requirements for dispensing controlled substances.

How can I apply for a CDS license?
The vertical menu bar on the Board of Pharmacy's website at www.pharmacy.la.gov contains a link to the CDS program. By selecting the Forms/Applications link, a menu of all forms is available. Please note there are separate application forms for practitioners and facilities, and further, the renewal form is different from the initial application form.  Please review the application instructions carefully. If you have any questions about the information requested, please contact the CDS Program office at 225.925.4770 or info@pharmacy.la.gov.

If I am a new practitioner who is not yet employed, what address should I provide for a practice address on the CDS license application?
If you are fairly certain about the location of your employment, please provide that physical address. Otherwise, you should provide the physical address of your medical residency program or the place of your medical practice within the past twenty (20) months. 

If I am practicing at more than one location, will I need a CDS license for each location?
If you only prescribe controlled substances, the state only requires one CDS license; that credential and the subsequent DEA registration will authorize your prescribing activities at any location within the state.

However, if you intend to manufacture, distribute, procure, possess, dispense, or conduct research with  controlled substances, the state requires a separate CDS license at each separate location where those activities are contemplated.

Why can't I put my home address on my CDS license if I am practicing at several locations?
The laws and rules applicable to CDS licenses require these documents to be site specific. We can, however, mail your CDS license to your home or any specified location of your choice. In the case of an applicant working in multiple emergency rooms, locum tenens, or who is working in any other non-permanent situation, we request the physical address of your primary practice location (e.g., hospital, clinic). You may also provide the physical address of the company or agency with whom you are contracted for your employment in Louisiana.

If you are retired, semi-retired, or not practicing for personal reasons, e.g., maternity, illness, sabbatical, or if your place of residence and practice are located on the same property, then you may use your home address as your practice address.

I have decided not to practice in Louisiana, therefore will not need a CDS license. What procedures should I follow?
Please send us a short letter indicating your decision to not practice in Louisiana, reflecting no need for the CDS license, and your desire to relinquish your license. Please include the original CDS license itself, as well as the final date of your practice in the state. We will update your status in our database and inform the DEA of your decision.

How can I verify the status of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) license?
On the Board's website, select the CDS link on the menu bar, and then select License Verifications.