Friday, January 15th, 2021

Reps. Castor, McKinley introduce legislation to halt flow of opioids to pill mills

U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and David McKinley (R-WV) announced Monday the introduction of bipartisan legislation aimed at reducing the flow of opioids to pill mills.

The Preventing Pill Mills Through Data Sharing Act would require drug wholesalers that ship opioids to drug stores and clinics to be more responsible for reporting suspicious quantities to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

“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.”

The legislation builds on the Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act Castor previously introduced then signed into law in 2018.

According to Castor’s office, the legislation will require drug manufacturers and distributors to report the sale and delivery, or disposal, of all controlled substances every month rather than quarterly as now required. The legislation will also extend the penalties and reporting requirement that currently apply to drug manufacturers and distributors. It will also require the DEA to provide quarterly reports to drug manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies in a format that allows them to better identify suspicious orders and will require the DEA to provide Congress with the reports it provides to states every six months.

Companion legislation was previously introduced in the Senate by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), and Dick Durbin (D-IL).