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October 20
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]


Opioid prescription painkillersWashington D.C. – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined a group of 16 senators in sending a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration Tuesday, urging the agency to better prevent painkillers from flooding the market by setting lower opioid production quotas for 2018.

Last year, the DEA heeded the senators’ call to address America’s opioid epidemic by reducing nearly all opioid quotas by 25 percent or more. This was the first reduction of its kind in over twenty years, but DEA-approved opioid production volumes remain troublingly high—including 55 percent higher oxycodone levels in 2017 than in 2007.

“As the gatekeeper for how many opioids are allowed to be sold legally every year in the United States, we commend DEA on taking initial steps last year to lower production quotas for the first time in a generation,” the senators wrote. “However, the 2017 production quota levels for numerous schedule II opioids remain dramatically higher than they were a decade ago. Further reductions, through DEA’s existing quota-setting authority, are necessary to rein in this epidemic.”

The senators also pressed the agency to improve transparency in its quota-setting process by providing an explanation of how it reaches a determination and publishing quotas granted to individual manufacturers of Schedule II opioids.

In addition to Feinstein, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) signed today’s letter.

Between 1993 and 2015, the DEA allowed production of oxycodone to increase 39-fold, hydrocodone to increase 12-fold, hydromorphone to increase 23-fold, and fentanyl to increase 25-fold. As a result, the number of opioid pain relievers dispensed in the United States has skyrocketed over the last two decades – from 76 million prescriptions in 1991 to more than 245 million prescriptions in 2014. The increase in opioid-related overdose deaths has mirrored the dramatic rise in opioid prescribing, with more than 33,000 deaths in 2015.

Full text of the letter is available here.

Comment On This Story
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4 Comments

  1. Cindy Pascoe Cindy Pascoe says:

    They already Reduced Mine 😝 I Love how they Aren’t my Dr. – Say and Do wha t they feel is Right for Me !!!!!! 🤔😡

  2. Karen Bunn Karen Bunn says:

    So this will make these very affordable and, for some, necessary, drugs more expensive and difficult to get. Nice.

  3. Duane Meagher says:

    When they overdose and die on opioids/fentanyl do they suffer? Are they aware they are dying? What do survivors say?

    Thanks

  4. Scott Gee says:

    Where are all these Dr. Feelgoods at? I recently broke 16 bones in motorcycle accident & doctor has prescribed oxycodone for the pain. My doctor (& me) closely monitor how much I take & already reducing amount as I get better.

    Instead of our Senators wasting their time with the mfg they should be going after the doctor’s. Oh, I forgot that doctor’s have a powerful lobby force in Washington & Senators don’t want to lose that lobby money, my bad!

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