Critics of New Drug Enforcement Law Say It Could Worsen Opioid Epidemic

Join Together News Service from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Critics of a new law that makes it more difficult for the government to take action against drug companies say the measure could worsen the opioid crisis, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama this spring. It allows companies accused of not reporting suspicious orders of prescription drugs to submit a “corrective action plan” to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to convince the agency to delay or call off proceedings against them.

The law also makes it more difficult for the DEA to temporarily suspend drug companies’ licenses. Proponents of the law say it keeps medications available for legitimate patients, and encourages cooperation between the drug industry and law enforcement.

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    Jim Sharp

    July 28, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Any law that allows more leeway for pharmaceutical companies to aggressively market and sell their products deserves great caution and scrutiny. Drug companies have a horrendous record in this regard (see the movie “Love and Other Drugs”). In particular, the deceptive marketing of powerful painkillers is one of the main drivers of our current opioid epidemic (see the excellent book “Dreamland – The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” by Sam Quinones, 2015, Bloomsbury Press).

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