Pricing & Classification DMM Advisory

Message board to keep postal customers informed of changes to mailing standards, services, and prices.

June 4, 2018

Approved Mailers of Controlled Substances and Prescription Drugs

The Postal Service would like to take this opportunity to remind the mailing community about eligibility requirements for mailers of controlled substances and prescription drugs.

A controlled substance is any anabolic steroid, narcotic, hallucinogenic, stimulant, or depressant drug identified in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act. Controlled substances also include poisons, compositions containing poisons, poisonous drugs and medicines, or materials that may kill or injure within the intent and meaning of the U.S. Criminal Code found in 18 U.S.C. 1716.

Prescription drugs are licensed medicines that require a written order by a medical doctor or pharmacist before they can be obtained.

Controlled substances and prescription drugs are acceptable in the domestic mail only under the following conditions:

1) For mailable controlled substances, generally both the mailer and addressee must meet either of the following conditions:

a) Be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or

b) Be exempted from DEA registration, such as military, civil defense, and law enforcement personnel performing official duties.

2) For prescription medicines, the mailer must be the drug manufacturer or their registered agents, pharmacies, medical practitioners, or other authorized dispensers as permitted by law.

3) For authorized drug mail-back programs, only authorized ultimate users who have lawfully obtained unused or unwanted pharmaceuticals may transfer controlled substances and prescription pharmaceuticals to a DEA-authorized collector.

The mailing standards for controlled substances and prescription drugs can be found in Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail (Pub 52) section 453. Requirements for DEA-registered collectors that would like to establish a drug mail-back program can be found in Pub 52 subsection 453.7.