WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill issued the following statement regarding a proposed rule from the Drug Enforcement Administration allowing the agency to consider the diversion of opioids for misuse when setting production limits for manufacturers:
“While this is an appropriate step, it must be done in conjunction with repealing the law that dramatically curtailed the Drug Enforcement Administration’s enforcement authority. Despite widespread, bipartisan acknowledgment that this bill has contributed to an ongoing public health crisis, the effort to repeal it remains stalled—and it’s long past time for Congress to act.”
McCaskill has introduced a bill repealing the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 after media reports indicated that it had dramatically restricted the ability of the Drug Enforcement Administration to crack down on opioid distributors suspected of wrongdoing. She also led a Senate roundtable on the bill last November.
McCaskill launched the most comprehensive Congressional investigation into the opioid crisis to date last year, requesting documents from opioid manufacturers and distributors. In September 2017, McCaskill announced the first round of findings, detailing systemic manipulation of the prior authorization process by Insys Therapeutics. McCaskill’s latest report, issued earlier this year, describes how manufacturers of opioids have made significant financial investments into third party organizations—groups which in turn have often engaged in pro-opioid advocacy.