The DEA and the Opioid Crisis

It’s difficult to know how the Drug Enforcement Administration is adjusting tactics following media scrutiny about a new law’s impact on its regulatory authority, namely what is called “immediate suspension orders.” These orders allow the agency to freeze suspicious shipments of prescription opioids involving manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and doctors. The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016, enacted last year requires a higher standard before DEA can issue these orders, raising questions about how such a measure sailed through Congress and was signed into law by President Obama in the middle of a raging drug epidemic. While some see red flags, with the drug industry exerting undue influence in getting the measure passed, others say immediate suspension orders vested too much authority in federal law enforcement powers, citing civil liberty and due process concerns. Nevertheless, an October Washington Post...(Read Full Article)