With advanced technology now available for DEA number verification, most of you will be letting a computer verify DEA numbers over a fast internet connection that will verify the number and the identity of the prescribing entity. However, it's important to know the basics about how the numbers work.

The Drug Enforcement Agency
assigns authorized practitioners and hospitals a unique number in order to keep track of the distribution of controlled drugs. The instructions below explain how a DEA number verification is done. DEA numbers can be verified by using the last number, which is known as the Check Digit.

Let's look at an example:

DEA Number - B J 6 1 2 5 3 4 1

6

+

2

+

3

=

11

↑

↑

↑

↓

B

J

6

1

2

5

3

4

1

+

↓

↓

↓

↓

1

+

5

+

4

=

10

x

2

=

20

↓

=

31

>

1. Add together the 1st, 3rd and 5th digits.

2. Add together the 2nd, 4th and 6th digits. Double it.

3. Add the two totals together.

4. The second digit in that total is the check digit.

In retail pharmacy, forgeries are occasionally presented in an attempt to obtain narcotics. Using the check digit is one method to detect the legitimacy of the order.

The numbers are preceded by two letters. The first letter represents the type of practice or institution the DEA number is issued to. The second letter represents the first letter of the practitioners last name. As such, that is another way to check the legitimacy of the DEA number. If the number starts with BJ and the script is from a Dr. Shaw, that's a red flag.