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Dingell, McKinley Legislation to End Pill Dumping, Bring Accountability to Suspicious Orders of Controlled Substances Clears Key Hurdle

Advancement of legislation comes after opioid overdoses in United States have spiked by 18 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic

Washington, September 9, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the Block, Report and Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act. Led by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Congressman David B. McKinley P.E. (R-WV), this legislation would require drug manufacturers, distributors and other Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registrants to report and halt suspicious orders of controlled substances.  

“With millions out of work and stuck inside their homes, we cannot allow for opioids to spread and inflict further harm on our communities.” said Dingell. “Working with Representative McKinley, we have struck the balance with a bipartisan bill that helps track unusually large orders of opioids and keep Americans safe.”

“While Congress has been rightly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic has not gone away. In fact, across the country overdose deaths have only increased,” said McKinley. “Last Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee conducted an investigation which revealed that nearly 800 million opioid pills shipped to West Virginia, amounted to 433 pills for every man, woman and child in the state. A year and nine months later we’re finally passing legislation that will prevent this from ever happening again.”

Earlier this year, the Washington Post disclosed the DEA’s database which tracks the path of every pain pill sold in the United States. According to the data, over 76 billion prescription pain pills were distributed across the United States from 2006 to 2012. In Michigan from 2006 to 2014, over 3,849,656,336 prescription pain pills were distributed state-wide. 

Dingell and McKinley first introduced the Block, Report and Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act following a report from the Energy and Commerce committee in 2018 on pill dumping in West Virginia and the role drug distributors played in the spread of opioids across the region. Among the many findings from the report, it was recommended that Congress pass legislation that would help supplement suspicious order requirements that clarify registrant responsibilities. 

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