DHEC's Bureau of Drug Control enforces the S.C. Controlled Substances Act, which closely parallels the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The S.C. Controlled Substances Act:
Our prescription monitoring program, called SCRIPTS, requires dispensing practitioners and pharmacies to collect and report dispensing activity of all CII-CIV controlled substances. As of February 1, 2013 SCRIPTS had more than 50 million records.
We typically conduct 750 to 850 annual site inspections of pharmacies, hospitals and practitioners. Our inspectors:
Violations and discrepancies discovered during investigations, inspections or audits may lead the BDC to take
administrative action against a facility or practitioner.
In most cases, the BDC and the DHEC legal office issue an Order to Show Cause. The order requires that a facility's designated representative or an individual practitioner appear at an informal pre‑hearing conference.
Most matters are resolved at these pre‑hearing conferences, usually through issuance of an Administrative Consent Order. An Administrative Consent Order imposes sanctions and, in some cases, monetary fines. The fines are forwarded to the S.C. Department of Mental Health for use in state alcohol and drug treatment centers.
We get 750 to 1,000 complaints each year involving diversion of controlled substances from legal outlets. About 450-500 of the complaints typically result in the arrest and prosecution of individuals in state or federal court. Approximately 25 percent of those prosecuted are health care professionals.