The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have proposed an average manufacturing reduction of 10%, compared to the amount manufactured in 2018, for the 6 most frequently misused opioids in the US.

Last year, the DEA proposed a 20% reduction in the manufacturing of controlled substances for 2018 compared to 2017. In a press statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “According to the National Prescription Audit, we have already made significant progress in reducing prescription rates of the past year. Cutting opioid production quotas by an average of 10% next year will help us continue that progress and make it harder to divert these drugs for abuse.”

The quotas will apply to Schedule II opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphine, hydromorphone, morphine, and fentanyl. Once the quota is set, the DEA allocates individual manufacturing and procurement quotas to those manufacturers that apply for them.

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The Proposed Aggregate Production Quotas (APQ) for Schedule I and II controlled substances reflect the total amount of controlled substances necessary to meet the country’s medical, scientific, research, industrial, and export needs for the year. The full proposed quota list for 2019 is outlined in the DOJ notice.

“We’ve lost too many lives to the opioid epidemic and families and communities suffer tragic consequences every day,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This significant drop in prescriptions by doctors and DEA’s production quota adjustment will continue to reduce the amount of drugs available for illicit diversion and abuse while ensuring that patients will continue to have access to proper medicine.”

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