McCaskill Announces Roundtable: Restoring DEA Enforcement Power Over Drug Distributors

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, will lead a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, November 28 to discuss the need to strengthen Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enforcement against opioid distributors and her bill to repeal the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016.

Roundtable: Restoring DEA Enforcement Power Over Drug Distributors

Tuesday, November 28
2:30 P.M. ET
Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 562

After media reports indicated that the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 had dramatically restricted DEA’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors suspected of wrongdoing, McCaskill introduced a bill to repeal the law. At the roundtable, former DEA official Joseph Rannazzisi will discuss how the law handcuffs the agency. Additional participants will be announced at a later date.

“Opioid distributors have irresponsibly flooded communities with drugs—and too many lives have been lost because of greed and willful ignorance,” McCaskill said. “The DEA needs to play a strong role in taking action against opioid distributors whose illegal actions are tearing families apart in Missouri and across the country. This roundtable will shine a light on what Congress and DEA need to do to hold distributors accountable.”

Earlier this year, McCaskill launched an investigation into opioid manufactures—the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the crisis to date—when she requested information related to sales and marketing materials, internal addiction studies, details on compliance with government settlements and donations to third party advocacy groups from major opioid manufacturers. She recently expanded her investigation, requesting documents and information from opioid manufacturers Mallinckrodt, Endo, Teva, and Allergan, while a request to McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen Corporation, and Cardinal Health, Inc., focused on their distribution of opioid products. In September, McCaskill announced the first round of findings, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics.