Is the DEA Branching Out Into Regulating Medicine?

Jeffrey A. SingerThe Drug Enforcement Administration, having virtually eliminated the diversion of prescription pain relievers into the underground market for nonmedical users, appears to be setting its sights on regulating the medical management of pain, a mission not suited for law enforcement. Acting under the authority of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act), the DEA  announced a proposal to reduce, once again, the national production quotas for fentanyl, morphine, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), oxycodone, and oxymorphone, bringing the production levels down 53 percent from 2016 levels.The September 12, 2019 new quota  proposal from the DEA states (Federal Register page 48172):As a result of considering the extent of diversion, DEA notes that the quantity of FDA-approved drug products that correlate to controlled substances in 2018 represents  less than one percent  of the total quantity of controlled substances distributed to retail purchasers.(emphasis added)The ostensible purpose of the production quotas is to reduce the amount of prescription opioids that get diverted into the underground market. As has been clearly  demonstrated, the overdose rate from the nonmedical use of licit and illicit drugs has been on a steady, exponential increase since at least the late 1970s, with the only variation being the particular drug in prominence at any given p...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs

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