Kuster, Jenkins, Ryan, Cooper Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve DEA Ability to Interdict Prescription Opioids
(Washington, DC) – Today Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02), Evan Jenkins (WV-03), Tim Ryan (OH-13), and Jim Cooper (TN-05) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the ability of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to pursue bad actors for distribution of prescription opioids. The legislation would repeal provisions of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which have hampered DEA’s efforts to stop the delivery of opioids and other medications to suspicious distributors. The legislation is a companion bill to legislation introduced by Senator Claire McCaskill in the Senate.
“At a time when the opioid epidemic is impacting communities across the country, it’s critical that no tools are taken off the table,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “We know that the opioid crisis has in part been fueled by the over prescribing of opioid pain medications and any limitations on the DEA’s ability to get unneeded prescription drugs off the street must be eliminated. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to come together in a bipartisan fashion to introduce this bill to repeal provisions of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which DEA officials cite as restricting their ability to do their job.”
“We need a DEA that is fully empowered to enforce opioid regulations and crack down on irresponsible distributors,” said Congressman Jenkins. “I’m proud to join with Reps. Kuster, Ryan, and Cooper to introduce this bill to repeal provisions of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act and ensure bad actors are held responsible for their role in the opioid epidemic in our communities.”
“It is clear that the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 has significantly and adversely affected the Federal Government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are endangering communities across the country,” said Congressman Ryan. “I am proud to introduce this legislation with Congresswoman Kuster, Congressman Jenkins, and Congressman Cooper which would repeal provisions of the legislation and restore the Drug Enforcement Administration’s authority to prohibit opioid manufacturers from flooding communities suffering from addiction with more pills.”