West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and fifteen other U.S. Senators sent a letter to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency yesterday urging them to further lower the amount of opioids manufacturers are allowed to produce in 2018.
The letter calls specifically for reducing opioid quotas, which are the legal amount of opioids drug companies are allowed to manufacture in the U.S.
Last year, the DEA lowered the opioid quotas by 25 percent or more in response to a similar letter signed by Manchin and five other Congressional colleagues. That reduction was the first of its kind in over twenty years.
Despite the previous reduction, a press release from Manchin’s office said that the DEA-approved opioid production volume remains troublingly high. Oxycodone, for instance, is produced at levels 55 percent higher in 2017 than 2007.
The senators also asked for more transparency in the DEA’s quota setting process.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.