DEA reduces amount of opioid controlled substances to be manufactured in 2017

DEA has reduced the amount of nearly every Schedule II opiate and opioid medication that may be manufactured in the United States next year by at least 25%. A Final Order set to be published in the <i>Federal Register</i> notes that some medicines were reduced by even more&#8212;with hydrocodone, for example, dropping to 66% of last year's level.

DEA has reduced the amount of nearly every Schedule II opiate and opioid medication that may be manufactured in the United States next year by at least 25%. A Final Order set to be published in the Federal Register notes that some medicines were reduced by even more—with hydrocodone, for example, dropping to 66% of last year's level. Sales data obtained by DEA from IMS Health indicated that demand for these opioid drugs, represented by prescriptions written by DEA-registered practitioners, has fallen. The Final Order establishes the Aggregate Production Quota (APQ), the total amount of a controlled substance necessary to meet the estimated medical, scientific, research, industrial, and export needs for the year and for the maintenance of reserve supplies. Much of the 2017 reduction is due to the elimination of a 25% buffer that was added to the APQ annually in 2013 through 2016 to protect against shortages.