December 09, 2020
ASA Provides Formal Comments to DEA on Administration of Ketamine
On December 4, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) submitted formal comments to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in response to the agency’s proposed rulemaking titled “Registering Emergency Medical Services Agencies Under the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017” which would amend DEA regulations to align with statutory amendments to the Controlled Substances Act.
ASA provided feedback on the provision that enables “emergency medical services professionals to administer controlled substances outside the physical presence of a medical director or authorizing medical professional pursuant to a valid standing or verbal order.” Following media attention around the use of sedatives during arrests which have resulted in medical emergencies and even death, ASA has become very concerned about the use of ketamine in non-health care settings. ASA has worked to educate the public and released a statement, opposing the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.
While ASA supports the DEA’s efforts to formalize these policies, ASA requested greater transparency as well as additional oversight and guidance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) around emergency medical services (EMS) administrating chemical restraints, such as ketamine, to ensure public safety. ASA believes medical experts should develop standardized protocols and guidelines that promote proper safeguards and patient safety to be made available to the public.
Read the formal comments submitted to the DEA.