CFR SEC 1301.72
A Summary of Security Requirements for Controlled Substances
In the United States, the Drug Enforcement Administrations Diversion Control Division regulates security measures for the manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances.
Title 21, Part 1301, Section 72 establishes physical security requirements for the storage of narcotics and other controlled pharmaceuticals. Here is a summary.
- Reinforced concrete or substantial masonry construction is required for vault walls and ceilings.
- Vault doors must be rated against 30 man minutes of attempted break in and up to 20 man hours of lock manipulation.
- Storage areas must be outfitted with monitoring devices and alarms capable of sending a signal to a central station or local police department.
- Cages located within facilities must have walls of not less than No. 10 gauge steel fabric mounted on steel posts.
- Cage ceilings are to be of similar construction, though may be of lighter gauge steel mesh in some cases). Cages may also be secured to the ceiling of the storage facility
- Vaults requiring frequent access must be equipped with a “day-gate” which is self-closing and self-locking, or the equivalent, for use during hours of operation for the facility.
Another set of relevant regulations important to pharmaceutical storage are from the General Services Administration (GSA) of the federal government. GSA regs specify torch and tool ratings (TR/TL) for how resistant the panels are to forced entry.
Detailed Security Requirements 1301.72
Always visit the DEA’s website for the latest updated information | CFR SEC 1301.72
Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations
PART 1301 REGISTRATION OF MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS, AND DISPENSERS OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
1301.72 Physical security controls for non-practitioners; narcotic treatment programs and compounders for narcotic treatment programs; storage areas.
(a) Schedules I and II. Raw material, bulk materials awaiting further processing, finished products which are controlled substances listed in Schedule I or II (except GHB that is manufactured or distributed in accordance with an exemption under section 505(i) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act which shall be subject to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section), and sealed mail-back packages and inner liners acquired in accordance with part 1317 of this chapter, shall be stored in one of the following secured areas:
(1) Where small quantities permit, a safe or steel cabinet;
(i) Which safe or steel cabinet shall have the following specifications or the equivalent: 30 man-minutes against surreptitious entry, 10 man-minutes against forced entry, 20 man-hours against lock manipulation, and 20 man-hours against radiological techniques;
(ii) Which safe or steel cabinet, if it weighs less than 750 pounds, is bolted or cemented to the floor or wall in such a way that it cannot be readily removed; and
(iii) Which safe or steel cabinet, if necessary, depending upon the quantities and type of controlled substances stored, is equipped with an alarm system which, upon attempted unauthorized entry, shall transmit a signal directly to a central protection company or a local or State police agency which has a legal duty to respond, or a 24-hour control station operated by the registrant, or such other protection as the Administrator may approve.
(2) A vault constructed before, or under construction on, September 1, 1971, which is of substantial construction with a steel door, combination or key lock, and an alarm system; or
(3) A vault constructed after September 1, 1971:
(i) The walls, floors, and ceilings of which vault are constructed of at least 8 inches of reinforced concrete or other substantial masonry, reinforced vertically and horizontally with \1/2\-inch steel rods tied 6 inches on center, or the structural equivalent to such reinforced walls, floors, and ceilings;
(ii) The door and frame unit of which vault shall conform to the following specifications or the equivalent: 30 man-minutes against surreptitious entry, 10 man-minutes against forced entry, 20 man-hours against lock manipulation, and 20 man-hours against radiological techniques;
(iii) Which vault, if operations require it to remain open for frequent access, is equipped with a “day-gate” which is self-closing and self-locking, or the equivalent, for use during the hours of operation in which the vault door is open;
(iv) The walls or perimeter of which vault are equipped with an alarm, which upon unauthorized entry shall transmit a signal directly to a central station protection company, or a local or State police agency which has a legal duty to respond, or a 24-hour control station operated by the registrant, or such other protection as the Administrator may approve, and, if necessary, holdup buttons at strategic points of entry to the perimeter area of the vault;
(v) The door of which vault is equipped with contact switches; and
(vi) Which vault has one of the following: Complete electrical lacing of the walls, floor and ceilings; sensitive ultrasonic equipment within the vault; a sensitive sound accumulator system; or such other device designed to detect illegal entry as may be approved by the Administration.
(b) Schedules III, IV and V. Raw material, bulk materials awaiting further processing, and finished products which are controlled substances listed in Schedules III, IV, and V, and GHB when it is manufactured or distributed in accordance with an exemption under section 505(i) of the FFDCA, shall be stored in the following secure storage areas:
(1) A safe or steel cabinet as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section;
(2) A vault as described in paragraph (a)(2) or (3) of this section equipped with an alarm system as described in paragraph (b)(4)(v) of this section;
(3) A building used for storage of Schedules III through V controlled substances with perimeter security which limits access during working hours and provides security after working hours and meets the following specifications:
(i) Has an electronic alarm system as described in paragraph (b)(4)(v) of this section,
(ii) Is equipped with self-closing, self-locking doors constructed of substantial material commensurate with the type of building construction, provided, however, a door which is kept closed and locked at all times when not in use and when in use is kept under direct observation of a responsible employee or agent of the registrant is permitted in lieu of a self-closing, self-locking door. Doors may be sliding or hinged. Regarding hinged doors, where hinges are mounted on the outside, such hinges shall be sealed, welded or otherwise constructed to inhibit removal. Locking devices for such doors shall be either of the multiple-position combination or key lock type and:
(a) In the case of key locks, shall require key control which limits access to a limited number of employees, or;
(b) In the case of combination locks, the combination shall be limited to a minimum number of employees and can be changed upon termination of employment of an employee having knowledge of the combination;
(4) A cage, located within a building on the premises, meeting the following specifications:
(i) Having walls constructed of not less than No. 10 gauge steel fabric mounted on steel posts, which posts are:
(a) At least one inch in diameter;
(b) Set in concrete or installed with lag bolts that are pinned or brazed; and
(c) Which are placed no more than ten feet apart with horizontal one and one-half inch reinforcements every sixty inches;
(ii) Having a mesh construction with openings of not more than two and one-half inches across the square,
(iii) Having a ceiling constructed of the same material, or in the alternative, a cage shall be erected which reaches and is securely attached to the structural ceiling of the building. A lighter gauge mesh may be used for the ceilings of large enclosed areas if walls are at least 14 feet in height,
(iv) Is equipped with a door constructed of No. 10 gauge steel fabric on a metal door frame in a metal door flange, and in all other respects conforms to all the requirements of 21 CFR 1301.72(b)(3)(ii), and
(v) Is equipped with an alarm system which upon unauthorized entry shall transmit a signal directly to a central station protection agency or a local or state police agency, each having a legal duty to respond, or to a 24-hour control station operated by the registrant, or to such other source of protection as the Administrator may approve;
(5) An enclosure of masonry or other material, approved in writing by the Administrator as providing security comparable to a cage;
(6) A building or enclosure within a building which has been inspected and approved by DEA or its predecessor agency, BND, and continues to provide adequate security against the diversion of Schedule III through V controlled substances, of which fact written acknowledgment has been made by the Special Agent in Charge of DEA for the area in which such building or enclosure is situated;
(7) Such other secure storage areas as may be approved by the Administrator after considering the factors listed in 1301.71(b);
(8)(i) Schedule III through V controlled substances may be stored with Schedules I and II controlled substances under security measures provided by 21 CFR 1301.72(a);
(ii) Non-controlled drugs, substances and other materials may be stored with Schedule III through V controlled substances in any of the secure storage areas required by 21 CFR 1301.72(b), provided that permission for such storage of non-controlled items is obtained in advance, in writing, from the Special Agent in Charge of DEA for the area in which such storage area is situated. Any such permission tendered must be upon the Special Agent in Charge’s written determination that such non-segregated storage does not diminish security effectiveness for Schedules III through V controlled substances.
(c) Multiple storage areas. Where several types or classes of controlled substances are handled separately by the registrant or applicant for different purposes (e.g., returned goods, or goods in process), the controlled substances may be stored separately, provided that each storage area complies with the requirements set forth in this section.
(d) Accessibility to storage areas. The controlled substances storage areas shall be accessible only to an absolute minimum number of specifically authorized employees. When it is necessary for employee maintenance personnel, nonemployee maintenance personnel, business guests, or visitors to be present in or pass through controlled substances storage areas, the registrant shall provide for adequate observation of the area by an employee specifically authorized in writing.