When to Use Form 106 to Report a Theft or Loss

Using Form 106 Reporting Theft or Loss of Controlled Substances

The DEA website contains guidance on when to use DEA Form 106 to report theft or loss. The following is the relevant information for research registrants:

DEA wishes to stress that the DEA Form 106 should be used only to document thefts or significant losses of controlled substances. Minor inventory discrepancies, not attributable to theft, should not be reported to DEA or recorded on a DEA Form 106. Rather, registrants should make appropriate notations of minor inventory discrepancies in their records, indicating the amount or variance between the physical count and the amount accounted for through records. Such discrepancies need not be reported to DEA if they are not significant or actual losses. If a registrant is unsure of the significance of a loss after considering the factors described below, the registrant should file the report. Any continuing pattern of loss of seemingly insignificant quantities should always be considered significant.

What constitutes a significant loss?

Any unexplained loss or discrepancy should be reviewed within the context of a registrant's business activity and environment. What constitutes a significant loss for one registrant may be construed as comparatively insignificant for another.

When determining whether a loss is significant, a registrant should consider, among others, the following factors:

  1. The actual quantity of controlled substances lost in relation to the type of business;
  2. A pattern of such losses, and the results of efforts taken to resolve then; and, if known,
  3. Local trends and other indicators of the diversion potential of the missing material.

Specific questions which a registrant should ask to identify whether a loss is significant include, but are not limited to:

  1. Has a pattern of loss been identified? Would this pattern result in a substantial loss of controlled substances over that period of time?
  2. Are specific controlled substances being lost, and do the losses appear to be random?
  3. Are the specific controlled substances likely candidates for diversion?
  4. Can losses of controlled substances be associated with access to those controlled substances by specific individuals? Can losses be attributed to unique activities which may take place involving the controlled substances?

When in doubt, registrants should err on the side of caution in alerting the appropriate law enforcement authorities, including DEA, of thefts and losses of controlled substances.