Prescriptions for controlled substances require a DEA number associated with the prescriber.

For the PTCE, you need to know how to check a DEA number manually.

In your actual workplace, you will most likely just be able to type in the number into the computer system to find out to whom a DEA number belongs. For testing purposes, here is how you calculate a DEA number:

Let’s say that Roger Rabbit decides to become a healthcare practitioner who can prescribe medications. His DEA number would consist of two alphabet letters and seven numbers like this:


dea number

  • The first letter will be one of these letters: A, B, F, or M (this signifies the registrant type.)
  • The second letter will be the first letter of the prescriber’s last name. In this case, that would be R.
  • Add the first, third, and fifth digits together. 3+2+3= 8
  • Add the second, fourth, and sixth digits together, then multiply by two. 2+1+7= 9 x 2= 18
  • Add the previous two calculations together. 8+18= 26
  • The second digit in this added calculation should match the seventh digit in the DEA number. 6=6 so it looks like Roger Rabbit is legitimate!

The pharmacy technicians at Pharmacy Tech Review have never personally had to manually check DEA numbers in their employment so if you think manually checking this is not very exciting, there is no need to worry. Most likely, when you enter a prescription for your employer, you will check the prescriber’s name on a database or the DEA Look-Up website that will already have all of the information you need. If you do think this is an exciting, then you are in for a treat because it is a huge chance it will be on your PTCE.


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