HealthFebruary 01, 2016

Have you met NADEAN?

Pharmacists need to be aware of a variety of standards, codes, and identifiers when filling prescriptions.

The regulations and reporting stakes are raised when a prescription is a scheduled controlled substance, especially one used for de-tox programs.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issues an identification number to all physicians who have special licenses to administer protocols for treating people with narcotic addiction. This is the Narcotic Addiction DEA Number, or NADEAN.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of Americans over age 12 who use heroin nearly doubled between 2006 and 2012, with about 669,000 people reporting using the drug in the past year. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that abuse of prescription opioid painkillers is steadily rising, and in 2013, nearly 2 million Americans were abusing these prescriptions.

To help combat this epidemic of opioid addiction, the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 (DATA 2000) expanded the ability of physicians to prescribe medications to help treat opioid dependency, an easier process for some patients than traditional methadone treatment, which can only be administered at a narcotic treatment facility. This includes medications like buprenorphine (Suboxone® or Subutex®) and naltrexone.

With rising numbers of patients potentially needing medication therapies to assist with addiction recovery and greater ability for physicians to prescribe these therapies, NADEAN becomes essential. Established by DATA 2000 and required by law as of July 2005, a NADEAN is issued to every physician granted a waiver under DATA 2000 to prescribe these medications. The number helps pharmacists verify that these are legitimate prescriptions from a physician who meets one of more of these criteria:

  • Subspecialty board certification in addiction psychiatry from the American Board of Medical Specialties
  • Addiction certification from the American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Subspecialty board certification in addiction medicine from the American Osteopathic Association
  • Completed at least eight hours of training with respect to the treatment and management of opioid-addicted patients sponsored by one of five organizations authorized by DATA 2000
  • Participated as an investigator in one or more clinical trials leading to the approval of a narcotic drug in Schedule III, IV, or V for maintenance or detoxification treatment
  • Has other training or experience, considered by his or her state’s medical licensing board to demonstrate the ability of the physician to treat and manage opioid-addicted patients
  • Has other training or experience the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services considers demonstrates his or her ability to treat and manage opioid-addicted patients

This certification can help pharmacists identify illegitimate or diverted prescriptions, which in turn helps you protect your business and your patients.

How we help

Wolters Kluwer Clinical Drug Information has added a NADEAN indicator to its Medi-Span Controlled Substances File to flag drugs at the NDC level that fall under DATA 2000 protocol. The flag will help pharmacists identify when a prescription for one of these drugs is entered into their system, alerting them to the need to check for a NADEAN. It can also assist in generating reports on these drugs.

Without a NADEAN attached to the prescription, the pharmacist is not able to fill the script!

Embedded drug data and clinical screening modules to support appropriate medication prescribing
Organizations use Medi-Span® drug data and clinical screening modules to support appropriate medication decisions, and to help reduce prescribing errors by optimizing alert systems.