Drug Control: Actions Needed to Ensure Usefulness of Data on Suspicious Opioid Orders, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the GAO [Government Accountability Office] Highlights: "Since 1999, more than 700,000 people have died of a drug overdose in the United States, with about 48,000 dying of an opioid overdose in 2017 alone. The DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] administers and enforces the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to ensuring the availability of controlled substances, including certain prescription drugs, for legitimate use while limiting their availability for abuse and diversion. The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, enacted in 2018 included a provision for GAO to study the reporting of suspicious opioid orders on a real-time basis nationally using computer algorithms. This report examines, among other things, how DEA obtains and uses industry-reported data to identify and address suspicious opioid orders and opportunities for DEA to improve these efforts, such as using computer algorithms or real-time reporting. GAO analyzed program documentation and DEA data, and interviewed DEA and industry officials as well as officials from national associations representing distributors, investigators, state boards of pharmacy, and other federal and state agencies."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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