Republican Tennesee Rep. Diana Harshbarger introduced legislation Friday that would fight pill dumping and suspicious opioid shipments in the U.S.
The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to specifically require registrants to investigate reports of suspicious orders of controlled substances and halt them if necessary. Under the version of the act currently in force, drug manufacturers and distributors are only required to report suspicious orders of opioids and other controlled substances to the DEA.
“Breaking the opioid epidemic’s stranglehold on our nation is one of my foremost priorities. In an effort to do so, my colleagues and I have identified a loophole that allows distributors to continue order fulfillment, even under suspicious circumstances,” Harshbarger told the Caller before introducing the legislation.
“My bill closes that loophole with the requirements and guardrails needed to ensure these addictive and potentially dangerous drugs do not fall into the wrong hands while the DEA investigates. The future of our nation depends on us solving the addiction crisis, and this is a step towards that outcome,” Harshbarger added. (RELATED: Opioid Crisis Cost America $1.5 Trillion During Year Of Pandemic And Lockdowns)
READ THE LEGISLATION HERE:
According to a congressional report released in September, the opioid crisis cost the U.S. $1.5 trillion during the COVID-19 pandemic. (RELATED: Ohio Senate Candidate Tim Ryan Took Tens Of Thousands From Opioid Makers Blamed For Overdose Crisis)
The CDC says 93,331 people died from overdoses in the U.S. in 2020, the highest in 50 years. Opioid-related deaths made up nearly three-quarters of the total.
Pharmaceutical companies have been blamed for contributing to the opioid epidemic. The Department of Justice is currently suing the pharmaceutical company AmerisourceBergen over allegations the company failed to report suspicious orders of opioids to federal law enforcement.