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Dingell, McKinley Introduce Bill to End Pill Dumping, Bring Accountability to Suspicious Order Shipments

Washington, July 23, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives David B. McKinley P.E. (R-W.Va.) and Debbie Dingell (D- Mich.) introduced the Block, Report and Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act (H.R. 3878) which will require drug manufacturers, distributors and other Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrants to not only report but halt suspicious orders.

Currently, under the Controlled Substances Act drug manufacturers, and distributors are only required to report suspicious orders of opioids to the DEA. This legislation would require registrants to halt, investigate, and report suspicious orders of controlled substances. Click here to read the full text of the bill.

“Between 2006 and 2012, more than 850 million opioid pills were shipped into small communities throughout West Virginia, these drugs have wreaked havoc on our communities and contributed to our state becoming the epicenter of the opioid epidemic,” said McKinley. “Disturbers have continued to fall back on the fact that they flagged suspicious orders for the DEA, but what they fail to mention is that they continued to ship these orders even after flagging them as suspicious. Last Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee conducted an investigation following the discovery that nearly 9 million pills were distributed in just two years to a single pharmacy in West Virginia, our legislation will prevent this from ever happening again.” 

“We all must continue working together to address the opioid crisis. This commonsense, straightforward bill helps pharmacists and others be active partners in addressing how many opioids are distributed in our communities,” said Dingell. “I’ve lived on all sides of the epidemic and know we must not let the pendulum swing too far in one direction. Working with Representative McKinley, we have struck the balance with a bipartisan bill that helps pharmacists and pharmaceutical distributors stop suspicious prescriptions, all while giving the DEA the information they need to track unusually large orders.”

This legislation came together due in part to an investigation and report released by the Energy and Commerce Committee in December 2018. The investigation looked into pill dumping in West Virginia and the role that drug distributors and others in the supply chain had in fueling the crisis. The report provided several recommendations include that “Congress should consider enacting additional suspicious order requirements to clarify registrant responsibilities and to supplement the suspicious order requirements recently codified in the SUPPORT Act.”

Click here to read the full Energy & Commerce Committee report

Background:

The Washington Post and HD Media, which publishes the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, undertook a year-long legal battle for access to the DEA’s Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System, known as ARCOS. The data reviled that 76 billion pills were distributed across the country during the seven-year time frame ending in 2012. For more of the data and an interactive map click here.

SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6)  was the product of significant bipartisan work on both sides of the Capitol and was signed into law on October 3. To learn more about the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) please click here

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