On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed a fleet of bills aimed at combating the ongoing opioid crisis, most aimed at developing preventative measures to curb opioid addiction by funding research. The measures passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Key points of these legislative initiatives are summarized below. Quarles & Brady will continue to monitor their progress.
A United States District Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from enforcing the Immediate Suspension Order issued against Morris & Dickson.
Acknowledging, that the entire administrative record was not before the court, Judge Foote nonetheless held that “Plaintiff has demonstrated a substantial likelihood that it will be able to prove that the Acting Administrator’s finding is arbitrary and capricious” and that “Morris & Dickson faces a substantial threat of irreparable harm if the immediate suspension of DEA Certificates of Registration Nos. RM0314790 and RM0335732 is not enjoined and that the balance of equities and the public interest favor granting a temporary restraining order.”
A preliminary injunction hearing is currently scheduled for May 22.
On May 2, 2018, the DEA issued an Order to Show Cause and Immediate Suspension of Registration (the “Order”) against Morris & Dickson Co., LLC (“M&D”), a drug distributor based in Louisiana with pharmacy customers in 7 states. The DEA has two main allegations against M&D:
- M&D failed to maintain effective controls against division of controlled substances into other than legitimate channels, in violation of 21 USC 823(b)(1) and 21 CFR 1301.71.
- M&D failed to identify and report suspicious orders to DEA, in violation of 21 CFR 1301.74(b).
On April 19, 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) proposing various changes to DEA’s process for setting Aggregate Production Quotas (APQ) and Individual Procurement Quotas (IPQ). Here are some of the more significant “changes” proposed in the NPRM:
Aggregate Production Quotas
- DEA must consider the diversion of a particular class of drugs when setting APQ;
- DEA must also consider information from HHS, FDA, CDC, CMA, and state information when setting APQ;
- DEA must consider diversion as one of the factors for adjusting APQ;
- Allows for a hearing, if requested, and necessary to resolve issues related to a state’s objection to changes in APQ.
As the national discussion on opioid abuse continues, state governments are looking to their tax laws as a way of “addressing” the issue. The Kentucky House recently approved a 25 cent per pill tax for every dose sent into the state. The measure now moves to the Kentucky Senate. The state expects to raise $70 million a year from the tax. Kentucky does not, however, intend to use the funds for opioid addiction treatment, but plans to use the tax revenue for unrelated budget needs. Continue Reading
The DEA issued a short press release yesterday that, at first glance, appeared to deliver on something that wholesale drug distributors have been seeking for years—access to ARCOS data so that wholesalers can see the total number of controlled substances a customer is ordering.* Despite the sensational headline, the new DEA tool is underwhelming and misses the mark because it will only tell a wholesaler how many other wholesalers a prospective customer has purchased a controlled substance from in the past six months. Unfortunately, this tool will provide little to no usefulness to distributors in identifying suspicious orders. Continue Reading
I am pleased to be part of the roundtable panel, “Update on State and Federal Enforcement Initiatives,” at the American Conference Institute’s Summit on Controlled Substances, being held January 29-31 at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Conference faculty will discuss current challenges, benchmark strategies, and how to prepare for the future of this critical and fast-paced industry. Hear from:
- Current and former DEA attorneys
- Current and former FDA attorneys
- State and U.S. attorneys
- In-House Counsel
- Top law firm counsel
- Reassessing Your Responsibilities in Light of the Changing Scope of Suspicious Order Monitoring Requirements
- Evolution of Abuse-Deterrent Opioid Drug Products
- Understanding and Comparing State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
- Diving Into State, County, and City Opioid-Related Investigations
Register today and use the code P10-999-DEA18 to receive a discount on registration fees.
While a great deal of attention is given to DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Mulrooney’s (“CALJ Mulrooney’s”) opinion regarding the impact of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act on DEA enforcement efforts, very little attention has been afforded a shocking and unprecedented attack by a sitting DEA Administrative Law Judge on DEA’s formal administrative hearing process found within the same article.
Hidden in plain sight at the end of CALJ Mulrooney’s and Ms. Katherine Legel’s soon-to-be-published law review article is a thirty page attack on the procedures that govern DEA administrative hearings, substantive decisions in final agency decisions, and the individuals assigned to draft final agency decisions on behalf of the agency. Continue Reading
In a recently issued Request for Proposal (RFP) for Information Technology (IT) and other services in support of the Diversion Control Division, DEA indicated that it will be creating a new section in the Code of Federal Regulations. 21 C.F.R. 1301.78, will contain the suspicious order reporting requirement that is currently found in 21 C.F.R. 1301.74(b). DEA intends to define the term “suspicious order” with a list of specific factors to consider when scrutinizing an order. DEA is expected to require that the “presence of any one or more of these factors renders the order a suspicious order,” which must be reported to DEA via a secure network application for Suspicious Order Reporting System (SORS). Continue Reading
On December 12, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing to discuss the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (the “Act”). The Act has been the subject of recent sensationalized news reports which included interviews with a purported DEA whistleblower and other former DEA employees. Continue Reading