DEA Number format change?

Has the format for DEA numbers changed? I have always known the format to be two alpha characters followed by 7 numbers and the last number used for check digit routines.

I have seen numbers that are one alpha character followed by 8 digits.

Anybody heard or seen any information about this. I have searched and found no information on any change.

My DEA number is two letters followed by 7 numbers. I’ve heard nothing about a change.

I had not either but we got some in on a file that where formated as one alpha character and eight numbers and we beleive there is some type of error but I wanted to make sure.

Thanks for your response.

So, somebody really looks at the number? A few years ago I wrote a prescription for a narcotic and accidentally wrote my state license number in the DEA slot. I realized it a short time later and told the receptionist to expect a call from the pharmacy. It never happened.

I assume the pharmacy had your DEA on file and used that to fill the prescription and submit the claim. Does the DEA have to be written on the script for that type of narcotic to be filled?

If that was the case then an error was made.

Some of are plans require a DEA match, others require at least a check digit routine check while still others don’t care at all. I guess it depends on the formulary of the plan.

Claim? Insurance thing? I am a veterinarian, and there was no insurer involved. Yes, the drug I’d scripted required my DEA.

Are you sure it is not a National Provider Identifier number? There is a push to use them instead of the DEA number on non-controlled prescriptions.

Oh. I didn’t even notice your user name.

Sounds like the pharmacy was in error then.

A couple weeks ago I had to go to the pharmacy for my mother to pick up a prescription for her dog. They asked me the patient birthdate and I was like “uhhh I dunno it is a for a dog” LOL

No. NPIs are 10 positions in length and are numeric.

I have the DEA file from Aug 28, and did a string check length on the number field. There are no instances where the length is less than 10. I’ve encountered instances in our file in the past where the checksum failed (from a typographical error on their behalf) and it was corrected by the next weekly deliverable. So they do make mistakes, and while that is not in our file, it does not mean that it’s not in yours. I would call the DEA agency up.

Well in the spirit of fighting ignorance I did finally get an answer to this.

I contacted my DEA file supplier and from the DEA here is the answer.

"A DEA controlled substance registration can begin with one or two alphas. The first letter of a company name, or a person’s last name, is the second character of the DEA number. For example, if the registrant is named “Third Street Pharmacy”, then it will be assign a number such as “FT0123456.” However, if the company’s name begins with a number, for example “3rd Street Pharmacy”, then we insert the number “9” in the second position, that is “F90123456.”

So there you have it. That is what we were seeing in most cases. Some did not start with numbers but they may have registered that way and it was changed later.