Transferring Drugs from one Agency to Another


Forum Deputy Chief
So, unfortunately, my first VFD where I got my start in emergency medicine, will be shutting its doors for good at the end of the year. Over the years, throughout my medical school and residency, there would be tons of supplies the hospital would discard. Sometimes it was a change of contract, sometimes it was a satellite office/location closing. I was always welcome to rehome supplies (I estimate easily $10k+ in the last 3 years' worth of supplies) by giving them to VFDs but there was some issue with the VFDs accepting drugs (not controlled substances, things even like saline and nebs).

Now that this department is closing, and with me likely assuming medical directorship of a couple of departments starting in 2021, I am wondering if there are any restrictions on transferring drugs between departments. It would actually technically be a transfer to me first (I have my own DEA license as a physician), and then to whatever departments I will be picking up when their current medical director retires. I have scoured the DEA website but not found anything (perhaps because it might be a state board of pharmacy thing?).

Does anyone have any ideas where to start looking for this information? In my state, physicians can possess any medications without a pharmacy license with the exception of a scheduled substance (which falls under DEA rules). So I don't think there would be any problem with me taking the drugs as long as the chief and board of trustees have no qualms about it (I doubt they can sell prescription drugs so they are of no value to them). But would they be useless once I have them as I couldn't then give them to another VFD? Does it change anything if I wait until I take over as medical director so my name is on the drug license? (n.b., I am NOT the medical director for my soon-to-be defunct VFD so the drugs are not currently in my name).

Thanks for any opinions on what I can or can't do, and ideas on where I can start looking!


Forum Lieutenant
I'd start with your state boards. They can get your trained in responsibilities of being an OMD. And they can tell you what is involved in transferring drugs between agencies.

Talk with the current OMD of the agency. Maybe you take over as OMD for that agency to finish out the year, so that the agency and/or the current OMD doesn't have to figure out how to do a switch after the VFD is gone.