Senators: Repeal Law That Impedes DEA’s Ability to Crack Down on Opioid Distribution

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Two Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would repeal a law they say hampers efforts by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to fight the opioid epidemic.

According to a report by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act impeded the DEA’s authority to freeze suspicious shipments of opioids in order to reduce the flow of painkillers to the black market.

CNN reports Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia have called for the repeal of the legislation, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2016. The law passed by unanimous consent in the Senate.

“Media reports indicate that this law has significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities,” McCaskill said in a statement. “I’ll be introducing legislation that repeals this law and continue my work investigating the role pharmaceutical distributors played in fueling this public health crisis.”

Senator Manchin called the legislation a “horrible law that should have never passed in the first place.”

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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