Durbin Urges DEA Administrator to Improve Opioid Quota Setting

WASHINGTON – U.S Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg to talk about the agency’s role in the fight against opioid addiction. The DEA is responsible for establishing annual quotas determining the exact amount of each opioid drug that is permitted to be produced in the United States each year. During the meeting, Senator Durbin urged the DEA to use their existing authority to reduce the amount of opioid pills allowed to be manufactured and sold every year in the United States.
“Tackling the opioid crisis will require a coordinated effort from government, health care providers, and drug companies. We must make sure all stakeholders are doing everything in their power to prevent opioid addiction,” said Durbin. “I commend Administrator Rosenberg for acknowledging that the DEA can do more to keep dangerous painkillers off the market as well as off our streets, and I look forward to seeing real and tangible changes from his administration. Fewer pills on the market means less addiction and, hopefully, fewer deaths.”   
For the past two decades, the DEA has approved ever-greater opioid quotas. Between 1993 and 2015, the DEA allowed quotas for oxycodone to increase 39-fold, hydrocodone to increase 12-fold, hydromorphone to increase 23-fold, and fentanyl to increase 25-fold.
Last month, Senator Durbin introduced legislation to prevent opioid addiction by reducing the volume of addictive painkillers on the market and improving prescribing practices. The Addiction Prevention and Responsible Opioid Practices Act (A-PROP Act) would provide enhanced oversight of new opioids entering the market and strengthen the DEA’s authority to limit the number of addictive painkillers available each year.