Lawmakers Send Letter Requesting Information on DEA Drug Trafficking Strategy

Last week, lawmakers sent a letter to the Biden Administration requesting information on the Administration’s strategy to address counterfeit drug trafficking. Senators Thom Tillis (NC), James Risch (ID), John Cornyn (TX), Mike Crapo (ID), and Ted Cruz (TX) sent a letter to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram detailing their concerns over the increase in counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and the rise in fentanyl related deaths. In their letter, the lawmakers request information on how DEA is working with state and local law enforcement to track drug networks, any actions DEA is taking to work with social media platforms to prevent online sales of counterfeit pills, and any efforts DEA is taking in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services to support mental health and substance use disorder challenges that may arise due to the increase in fentanyl.

Articles & Resources


VA to Evaluate Effects of Opioids Prescribing on Veterans

As part of a requirement of the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019, Veteran’s Administration (VA), in collaboration with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, plans to study the effects of opioids on all-cause mortality of veterans and quantify the effects of opioid prescribing on risk of death among veterans. The VA’s study will examine the effect of opioid prescribing for pain relative to alternative non-opioid pain treatments, the effects of higher doses of opioids relative to lower doses of opioids, the effect of co-prescribing a benzodiazepine among patients already receiving opioids, and the effect of initiating opioids among patients already taking benzodiazepines.

Articles & Resources

GSA – AN11–NASEM Hannon Act Contract Notice of Intent to Sole Source

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the topic. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Hematology Advisor – Opioids and Cancer: How to Prevent and Manage Misuse

JAMA Network Open – Geographic Trends in Opioid Overdoses in the US From 1999 to 2020

Law360 – W.Va. Reaches Opioid Deal With Rite Aid Worth Up To $30M

New York State – State Health Commissioner Issues Statewide Pharmacy Standing Order for Naloxone to Reduce Opioid Overdoses and Save Lives

Pew – Federal Agencies Have Substantial Authority to Boost Methadone Access

Senator Rob Portman – In Cincinnati, Portman Leads Roundtable Discussion Addressing Ongoing Addiction and Fentanyl Overdose Crisis in Ohio & Across U.S.

Senator Shelley Moore Capito – Capito, Manchin Announce Four Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Service Grants for West Virginia

The Wall Street Journal – Walgreens Helped Fuel San Francisco Opioid Epidemic, Judge Rules

The Washington Post – It’s about to get easier to access affordable naloxone

University of Michigan – AI could help patients with chronic pain avoid opioids

This Week’s Calendar

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the event that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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