Archived Report: September 30 - October 6, 2019
Health Topic: Opioids
Weekly Report: September 30 - October 6, 2019
Weekly Insights
DEA called out for not slowing down opioid production
The Justice Department criticised the DEA for its slow response to the opioid crisis and authorizing large increases in opioid production despite evidence of overprescription, misuse, and deaths. Since 2000, more than 300,000 Americans have died of opioid overdose, a rate that increased 71% per year from 2013 through 2017. Despite the death toll, the DEA continued to authorize manufacturers to produce substantially larger amounts of opioids. For example, the DEA increased production quotas for oxycodone by 400% from 2002 to 2013. The review comes at a critical point in federal opioid litigation, as 2,300 cases from cities, counties, and tribes across the nation seek reparations for the opioid epidemic from drug manufacturers.
Virginia pill mill shut down
A Virginia doctor was convicted on more than 800 federal drug charges for distributing a controlled substance without a legitimate medical purpose or beyond the bounds of medical practice. The provider prescribed more than 500,000 doses of oxycodone, fentanyl, and other opioids since opening his practice in 2015, furnishing a prescription for every patient who came into his clinic. Findings reported that some patients would drive hundreds of miles from other states and wait as long as 12 hours to see the doctor in order to get pain medication they could use or sell for profit.

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