Though the DEA does not release information such as a specific doctor's DEA number, there are ways to verify if a physician is licensed with the DEA and obtain other relevant information.
The Importance of a DEA Number
A doctor's DEA number allows him or her to legally write prescriptions for or distribute controlled substances. A DEA number is not required to write prescriptions for non-controlled substances, such as antibiotics or NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) medications. Because the DEA is tasked with tracking the prescribing, use and activity of any controlled substance, a physician's DEA number allows doctors to legally prescribe patients any controlled substances. The DEA will then keep track of a physician's prescribing practices, how often certain medications are prescribed, who they are prescribed to and other relevant aspects in order to ensure no fraudulent or illegal prescriptions are being given out or bought in a doctor's office.
Can One Look up a Physician's DEA Number?
There are multiple reasons a person may want to look up a physician's DEA number. If an individual is going to a new doctor, he or she may want to make sure that doctor is able to prescribe the right medication, or he or she may want to verify the legitimacy of the new physician's practice. Unfortunately, the DEA does not give out DEA numbers or allow individuals to look up DEA number information for doctors.
Since there isn't a way to look up a specific physician's DEA number, a person looking to verify a doctor's DEA license has to use other routes. One way to do this is to verify the doctor's DEA license with the state medical board. In order to do this, the person must first figure out what state the physician was licensed by and where the physician's main practice is. Once this information is known, the individual can contact that state's medical board to request information on a licensed physician. This may require filling out forms with information such as the doctor's first and last name, the state where his or her practice is, the location of the practice and other information. By putting in this request a person can obtain verification of a physician's DEA status.
The Federation of State Medical Boards also provides a directory where a person can find the contact information for a state's medical board. Electronic request forms are also available directly on the Federation of State Medical Boards' website that can be filled out online or filled out by hand and mailed in. There is a fee associated with filling out this form to request a physician profile. Once the form is submitted, the person who put in the request will receive a physician's profile that can include varying information, which may include the physician's DEA number or the status of the DEA license.
Asking a Physician or Looking at a Prescription
If someone is wondering if they can look up a physician's DEA number, but he or she doesn't want to fill out the forms required to verify the DEA license, there is always the option to simply ask the physician. Additionally, if a person is already being seen by a specific doctor and is getting prescriptions from him or her, if those prescriptions are for any controlled substances, the doctor is required by law to write his or her DEA number on each prescription, which tells the pharmacist who fills the prescription that the doctor is qualified to write such prescriptions.