McKinley Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Halt Flow of Opioids and Crack Down on Pill Mills

WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. Representatives David B. McKinley, P.E., (R-W.Va.) and Kathy Castor (D-Tampa-FL14) introduced the Preventing Pill Mills Through Data Sharing Act (H.R. 8732), to require drug wholesalers that ship opioids to take greater responsibility for reporting suspicious quantities to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

“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 pills 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 companies from dumping mass amounts of pills into vulnerable communities, which will help keep American families safe.”

“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 require drug distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies accountable 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.”

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.

This legislation builds on the work of McKinley’s Block, Report, and Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act (H.R. 3878), which passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this year.

Preventing Pill Mills Through Data Sharing Act 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.

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.

Click here for the bill text. 

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