DOJ and DEA Propose Lowering Opioid Production Quotas by 10% in 2019

Pressure to Rein in Production Persists

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have proposed to reduce manufacturing quotas for six of the most frequently abused opioids by 10%, on average, in 2019.

The DEA has proposed to scale back on the production of commonly prescribed schedule II opioids including oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine, and fentanyl. Since 2016, production quotas for these drugs have dropped by an average of 44%. The proposal will be included in the agencies’ final rule that aims to change their regulations and quota processes to more effectively limit opioid diversion, which will be reviewed by the state attorneys general.

Although the DEA reduced its production quotas of opioids by at least 25% in 2016, DEA-approved production volumes still remain high; oxycodone levels in 2017 were 55% higher than in 2007.

Source: Modern Healthcare, August 20, 2018