Castor, McKinley Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Halt Flow of Opioids to Pill Mills
Today, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor (D-Tampa-FL14) and David McKinley (R-WV-01) introduced the Preventing Pill Mills Through Data Sharing Act to require drug wholesalers that ship opioid to drug stores and clinics to take greater responsibility for reporting suspicious quantities to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This legislation builds on the work of Castor's Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act, which was signed into law in 2018.
"Far too many families in Florida and across the country continue to struggle with opioid addiction, and the COVID-19 pandemic only has exacerbated this ongoing public health crisis," said Castor. "I'm proud to introduce this legislation with Rep. McKinley to equip the DEA with necessary tools to hold drug distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies accountable and identify, report and halt suspicious orders of controlled substances. Our bipartisan, bicameral bill will take the necessary steps to increase transparency and hold all companies and pharmacies on the supply chain accountable. Most importantly, it will go a long way in keeping our communities informed and ensure our neighbors are 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. "West Virginia is all too familiar with the opioid epidemic, in the past millions of prescription drugs flooded into our communities and ripped families apart by the horrors of addiction. Our bipartisan bill ensures that the Drug Enforcement Agency will be able to collect and share data necessary to identify and prevent pharmaceutical companies from dumping mass amounts of pills into vulnerable communities, which will help keep American families safe."
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have previously introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
This legislation will:
Requires drug manufacturers and distributors to report the sale, delivery or other disposal of all controlled substances on a monthly, rather than quarterly basis as current law requires.
Extends the penalties and reporting requirements that currently apply to drug manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies.
Requires DEA to provide quarterly reports to manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies in a format and manner that better facilitates the identification of suspicious orders.
Requires DEA to provide Congress the same reports that it provides to states every six months, and expands the reporting requirements to include unusual volumes of controlled substances that are disposed of rather than sold, and unusual numbers of deleted transactions of high volumes of controlled substances.