Shaheen, Hassan Introduce Legislation that Would Ensure Transparency and Accountability in DEA Quotas for Prescription Opioid Painkillers

September 28, 2017

**For 2018, the DEA is proposing an annual quota equivalent to manufacturing 9.5 billion opioid painkiller pills**

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined four of their democratic colleagues to introduce legislation to shed light on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) quotas on OxyContin and opioid pain medication, and the secretive process by which the pharmaceutical companies gain approval to produce the deadly opioid painkillers that are taken in New Hampshire and across the country.

“The over-production and over-prescription of painkillers has taken a devastating toll on our communities, and fueled the worst public health emergency in our state’s history,” said Senator Shaheen. “The DEA has already taken positive steps to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers in the marketplace, and this legislation will create greater transparency as we seek to reduce the over-production and over-prescription of opioid drugs. Oversight and accountability are fundamental to this effort. This legislation will provide the necessary information needed to help in our fight to control and prevent abuse of these potentially deadly drugs.”

“As the heroin, fentanyl, and opioid crisis continues to ravage communities in New Hampshire and across the country, we must do more to address the overuse, misuse, and abuse of prescription opioids that has played a major role in fueling this epidemic,” Senator Hassan said. “I applaud the Drug Enforcement Agency for taking steps to lower opioid production quotas earlier this year, but we must keep working together to combat this crisis. I am proud to help introduce the Opioid QuOTA Act, which will provide much-needed information on these quotas and the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture prescription opioids, and I look forward to working with members of both parties to advance this important legislation.”

For 2018, the DEA has proposed manufacturing levels in the United States that would be the equivalent of nine billion 10-milligram pills of OxyContin. Despite this massive quantity of addictive opioid pain medication that the DEA would approve for production, there is little public information about which individual companies are manufacturing prescription opioid pills or how many. Specifically, the Opioid Quota Openness, Transparency, and Awareness Act requires the U.S. Attorney General to make available through DEA’s website the quotas for an opioid painkiller issued to a registered manufacturer, as well as that manufacturer’s actual use of the quota. The bill also makes available the applications submitted to DEA by registered manufacturers requesting a particular quantity of active ingredient, and year-end reports on actual quota use, which DEA now treats as confidential.

A copy of the Opioid QuOTA Act can be found HERE.