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Pharmacist FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System


Q: Where can I find information on how to use the North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting System ("NCCSRS")?

A: The Drug Control Unit of the Department of Health and Human Services administers the NC CSRS. Information and FAQs may be accessed here:


MARCH 2016: BOARD OF PHARMACY AND UNC ESHELMAN SCHOOL OF PHARMACY PARTNER TO PROVIDE PHARMACISTS WITH A NO-COST CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSE ON USE OF THE NORTH CAROLINA CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES REPORTING SYSTEM.  The Board of Pharmacy and The Academy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy have partnered to build a continuing education program for pharmacists on the North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System (“CSRS”).  The on-line CE module educates pharmacists on the process for activating CSRS access, the menu system for acquiring data in the CSRS, and, perhaps most importantly, provides a series of interactive case scenarios designed to guide pharmacists in the appropriate use of CSRS data in various practice settings.  To access the program, which is available without cost to pharmacists, please click the link below and complete each section of the website. At the end of the program, you will have an opportunity to take a post-assessment test and claim one (1) hour of distance based CE credit. Link:


Q: Are there any exemptions to Controlled Substance Reporting System requirements regarding distribution of controlled substance samples?

A: The North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting System statute provides an express exemption for Schedule V non-narcotic, non-anorectic controlled substance samples:  “A dispenser shall not be required to report instances in which a Schedule V non-narcotic, non-anorectic Schedule V controlled substance is provided directly to the ultimate user for the purpose of assessing a therapeutic response when prescribed according to indications approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.” 

Pharmacies are, of course, prohibited by federal law from dispensing prescription drug samples of any sort.  This reporting exemption, then, only applies in practical terms to physicians or other health care providers who are permitted by federal law to provide samples to patients.  For information about storage, see below and


Q: How must controlled substances maintained in a practitioner’s office (as opposed to a pharmacy) for dispensing or administration be stored?  

A: The federal Controlled Substances Act and regulations provide that all controlled substances maintained in a practitioner’s office (as opposed to a pharmacy) for dispensing or administration should be stored in a locked cabinet or other secure storage container with limited access by the office staff. 


Q: What is the Board's position on pharmacists' use of the North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting System ("NCCSRS")?

A: As North Carolina pharmacists are aware, they are authorized to access the NCCSRS and to use data in that system to inform professional judgment and practice.  The Board has issued the following statement concerning pharmacists’ NCCSRS registration, use, and accessibility:


Q: I applied for access to the CSRS, but have not received my authorization.  Who do I contact?

A: A pharmacist with questions about CSRS access should contact Alex Asbun at 919-733-1765.  Pharmacists may also send e-mail inquiries to:


Q: How do I access the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System?

A: Pharmacists licensed in North Carolina may now apply for access to the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) through the Board of Pharmacy’s website (through the main pharmacist log-in page).  Click here to learn more about the NC CSRS, which is administered by the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Drug Control Unit.

If you are not already registered, CLICK HERE to log in using your license number and PIN (last 4 digits of your Social Security Number), then from the main menu select “CS Reporting.”  Follow the prompts from there to complete and submit the application.

Please note that pharmacists typically do not hold an individual DEA number, so pharmacists are advised to provide the DEA number of the pharmacy where they practice most often.

The completed application will go directly to the NC DHHS Drug Control Unit.  Accordingly, pharmacists with questions should address them to or (919) 733-1765.

Alex Asbun, Program Manager
Drug Control Unit, NC Department of Health & Human Services
Phone: 919.733.1765


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