Senate Report on Opioid Crisis: Missouri, DEA, and Pharmaceutical Companies

Senator Claire McCaskill and the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released the third report in an investigative series on opioid manufacturers and distributors, titled “Fueling an Epidemic: A Flood of 1.6 Billion Doses of Opioids into Missouri and the Need for Stronger DEA Enforcement.” The report, released Thursday, July 12, 2018, covers three major pharmaceutical distribution companies and their role in Missouri’s opioid crisis.

According to the report, these three main companies shipped about 1.6 million dosage units of opioids to Missouri between 2012 and 2017. This averages out to about 260 dosage units per resident of Missouri during that period of six years. The report goes a step further and analyzes suspicious orders of opioids and the high volume of opioids entering Missouri, as well as the need for stronger action from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to combat the issue. It also points out policy recommendations moving forward.

Several key points of the report include:

  • Efforts by opioid distributors and manufacturers to meet obligations under the Controlled Substances Act to monitor and report suspicious orders
  • Financial information on the three major opioid companies
  • Degree of DEA administrative enforcement action against distributors and illegal diversion of opioids
  • Information on the high volume of opioid prescriptions and diversion of opioids for illicit sales

The two preceding reports covered the increase in DHS fentanyl seizure at points of entry over the last several years and increases in US Customs and Border Patrol seizures of fentanyl within the United States.

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