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Selling or Closing a Veterinary Practice
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When a veterinarian plans to close or sell his/her practice, he/she should post signs in the practice advising clients. Many veterinarians mail a postcard note to all clients advising them the practice will close or change ownership by a particular date. The veterinarian should also inform clients how to obtain a copy of their pet's medical records.

Veterinary medical records must be retained for three years since the date the animal was last seen [Regents Rule 29.6 (3)]. The New York State Education Law defines veterinary medical records as " all information concerning or related to the examination or treatment of the animal kept by the veterinarian in the course of his or her practice."

The law requires veterinarians to provide animal owners with copies of treatment records upon written request of the client. Veterinarians are permitted to charge a reasonable fee for the copying of such records. Records must be provided within a reasonable time frame. Veterinarians may not hold records until an overdue account balance is paid.

X-rays are the property of the veterinarian and must be retained by the veterinarian with his/her patient medical records. A veterinarian may choose to transfer X-rays to a referring veterinarian but that veterinarian must agree to return them. If a copy of the X-ray must be provided to the client, the veterinarian must provide it at a reasonable fee within a reasonable period of time.

Failure to provide records as outlined above is defined as unprofessional conduct.

Note: Controlled substance records must be retained for five years.

Surrender and Disposal of Controlled Substances

Controlled substances, undesired, obsolete, expired, or for any reason, no longer needed may be disposed of by persons holding a federal (DEA ) registration number, or licensed by the DOH, or persons having lawful temporary possession, by different options.

  • Return to the licensed distributor or manufacturer from whom purchased.
  • Destroy in the presence of a witness with prior approval from the New York State Bureau of Controlled Substances.
  • Surrender to firms licensed by the bureau and DEA.

To receive the destruction forms and instructions you'll need to destroy controlled substances on your premises, contact the regional office of the Bureau of Controlled Substances near you. Form DOH-2340 "Request for Approval of On-Site Destruction of Controlled Substances" and form DOH-166 "Controlled Substance Surrender Form" need to be completed and submitted to the regional office.

The Department will decide whether to grant approval for the destruction by considering factors such as: compliance with the Public Health Law; the type, nature, and schedule of the drugs to be destroyed, including the potential for diversion of such drugs during the destruction process; the licensee's pattern and frequency of requests for approval to destroy or surrender controlled substances to the department.

Once permission is granted, the department will send you an incident destruction number that authorizes the destruction. It is important that the destruction go on exactly as proposed. No substitution of place, time or personnel is allowed. Lastly, keep these records for five years.

Call the Bureau of Controlled Substances in Albany, (518) 402-0707.

Bureau of Controlled Substances Area Offices

Buffalo Area Office
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 847-4503

New York City Office
90-04 161st Street
Suite 301
Jamaica, NY 11432
Phone: (718) 526-2626

Syracuse Area Office
677 S. Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: (315) 426-7759

For significant amounts of any controlled drug (more than 10 percent of a full bottle), or any amount of a Schedule II substance, the DEA has started using "Reverse Distributors." As the name implies, the reverse distributors are private companies authorized to receive controlled substances that are no longer wanted or have expired. These companies typically charge a modest fee for the service, but the administrative aspect of the process is greatly reduced.

DEA Authorized Reverse Distributors

This is an abbreviated listing. Contact your local BCS or DEA field office for a complete list.

BFI Pharmaceutical Service
801-N North Blacklawn Road
Conyers, GA 30207
Phone: (800) 777-6565

Guaranteed Returns
dba Devos, Ltd.
140 East Bell Mead Road #3
East Setauket, NY 11733
Phone: (800) 473-2138

Rx Returns Inc.
RD 1 Tollgate Road
Palm, PA 18020
Phone: (215) 679-9418

Buying a practice including controlled substances

When Schedule II drugs are involved:

The veterinarian purchasers completes Form #222 to reflect the transfer of controlled substances. The veterinarian and new veterinarian both keep a copy and the third copy goes to the DEA.

When Schedule III through V drugs are involved:

The veterinarian seller prepares a bill of sale and lists the name and quantity of each drug being transferred. The seller and the new veterinarian keep a copy and the third copy goes to the DEA.

Send DEA copies to:

Diane Gibson, DEA - Group D-145
99 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
(212) 337-1593

The seller is responsible for keeping the past transactions and logs for five years; you are not responsible for transactions before you assumed control of the practice.

When I sell my X-ray machine(s), do I have to notify anyone?

Yes, you need to write the Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection and tell them you've sold your X-ray machine(s), and provide the Bureau with the machine(s)' serial number(s) and buyer(s). The Bureau's address is 547 River Street, Suite 530, Troy, NY 12180-2216. The contact person is Alexander Damiani, (518) 402-7570.

Veterinary Practice Management

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