DEA Permitted Increased Opioid Production During Overdose Crisis, Says Government Watchdog

DEA Permitted Increased Opioid Production During Overdose Crisis, Says Government Watchdog

"We found that the rate of opioid overdose deaths in the United States grew, on average, by 8 percent per year from 1999 through 2013 and by 71 percent per year from 2013 through 2017", the report says. The first federal trial on the crisis, dealing with claims against the drug industry from two OH counties, is scheduled to begin later this month in Cleveland.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the DEA hiked quotas for oxycodone, one of the most widely used painkillers, by 400 percent between 2002 and 2013 - flooding the pharmaceutical market with additional drugs that otherwise would not have been produced.

Horowitz's report also found that between 2002 and 2013 the DEA authorized a 400% increase in production of the opioid oxycodone, and that the agency did not significantly reduce production of the pain pill until 2017. They also have said cutting back the overall supply risked denying legitimate pain patients the drugs they need if shortages were inadvertently created.

In the report, weaknesses were identified in the DEA's registration process, which allowed manufacturers, distributors and health care providers to immediately reapply after their registration was revoked or surrendered.

The Post reported in 2017 that under heavy lobbying from the drug industry, Congress approved a change in federal law that made use of the orders nearly impossible.

The DEA is the chief federal agency responsible for setting production quotas and investigating related illicit activity.

The DEA issued 45 suspension orders in 2012, but over the next five years, issued just 43 in total, the Justice Department inspector general said.

In a statement Tuesday, the DEA said it "appreciates" the assessment, and that is has reduced the quota for the seven most frequently diverted opioids for the last three years. In concert with federal prosecutors, the agency has brought civil and criminal charges against more companies and practitioners accused of fueling the opioid crisis, spokeswoman Mary Brandenberger said.

The DEA's 11-year-old system for recognizing "suspicious" orders of narcotics from dispensers such as drugstores, which provide perhaps the clearest warnings of diversion to the street, captured those orders "from very few registrants", Horowitz noted.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) allowed drug makers to ramp up the production of opioids over the same period of time that 141,298 people died from overdoses in the U.S., according to a report conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most concerning when it comes to inter-agency collaboration, the DEA also failed to capture shareable data about the pipelines of illegally trafficked opioids, the OIG pointed out. As a result, the DEA was often a year behind in identifying possible bad actors - relying on 2017 annual data in 2018, for example, Horowitz wrote.

The mission of the DEA is to enforce laws and regulations related to "controlled substances", which include illegal drugs such as heroin and legal but closely monitored drugs such as prescription opioids.

Related Articles

  • Burj Khalifa lit up as tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

    Burj Khalifa lit up as tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

    Subscribe to India Today for NEW VIDEOS EVERY DAY and make sure to enable Push Notifications so you'll never miss a new video. Not only Indians but people across the globe paid homage to " Father of the Nation " who is considered an icon.
    Schiff calls Trump tweets incitement to violence

    Schiff calls Trump tweets incitement to violence

    With their deep knowledge of Ukraine, testimony by Yovanovitch and Volker could be especially important to the impeachment probe. In Russia, Putin said scrutiny over the phone call showed that Trump's adversaries are using "every excuse" to attack him.
    FC Bayern Munich - Champions League - 1 October 2019

    FC Bayern Munich - Champions League - 1 October 2019

    This year we use a different system. "This is one of the leagues in which I really want to play". On the other side of the coin, Bayern Munich won their previous game 3-2 away from home.
  • Homeless soprano captures hearts with operatic subway serenade

    Homeless soprano captures hearts with operatic subway serenade

    Zamourka said she hopes to one day work in music again, and she hopes her newfound fame can turn her situation around. In the meantime, after Zamourka's efficiency went viral, folks have moved to assist her discover long-term housing.

    What’s that sound? A ‘Marsquake’ heard by Nasa

    The study on the quakes suggests that the crust of the Red Planet is similar to the blend of the Earth's and the Moon's crust. "Out of more than 100 events detected to date, about 21 are strongly considered to be quakes".
    Jasprit Bumrah to travel to the United Kingdom  for stress fracture treatment

    Jasprit Bumrah to travel to the United Kingdom for stress fracture treatment

    But it won't surprise many if the stylish opener scores a "daddy hundred" here, like he is used to in the blue jersey. Kohli backed Rohit on the eve of the match, assuring him enough opportunities.
  • India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 1, Highlights

    India vs South Africa, 1st Test Day 1, Highlights

    Sharma got off the mark as an opener in the longer format in style as drove Rabada for a boundary at backward point. India is now battling out South Africa in the first Test match of a three-match Test series back in their home.
    Surface Neo and Surface Duo first-look: The skeptical geek’s dream

    Surface Neo and Surface Duo first-look: The skeptical geek’s dream

    In addition, Microsoft is also rumored to launch a new ARM-based Surface tablet along with a dual-screen Surface device. However, it's now perplexing as to why the platform as it existed didn't have the right ingredients for Microsoft.
    Ukraine wants to stay out of U.S.  domestic affairs

    Ukraine wants to stay out of U.S. domestic affairs

    The call sparked a Congressional impeachment inquiry now dominating the US political landscape. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "diplomatic practice doesn't envisage such publications".
  • Senator Bernie Sanders hospitalsed after experiencing chest pains

    Senator Bernie Sanders hospitalsed after experiencing chest pains

    But a doctor not involved in the care said, if not, Sanders could expect to be back to a normal busy schedule in about a week. Since July he has jockeyed for position with Warren, who recently moved slightly ahead of him in polls in the crowded field.
    Soybeans, corn, wheat retreat from highs, US  crop eyed

    Soybeans, corn, wheat retreat from highs, US crop eyed

    For soybeans, shares have been pegged at 913 million bushels vs. the current trade estimate of 982 million bushels. The fall in corn futures also came despite the USDA pegging the pace of harvesting below market expectations.
    Justin Bieber bought himself a $50K watch as a wedding present

    Justin Bieber bought himself a $50K watch as a wedding present

    Some of the pictures that guests shared on their social media showed a smiley Hailey dressed in an immaculate halter-neck dress. Justin's new watch looks like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402BA made from 18k gold, which retails for €60k.