Senators Call on DEA for Guidance on ‘Partial Fill’ of Opioid Prescriptions

January 2, 2018

Six U.S. senators called on the Drug Enforcement Administration to update regulations on partial filling of Schedule II drugs to help address the opioid addiction crisis.

New regulations and guidance would give pharmacists and prescribers a clearer idea of the options at their disposal, the senators said in a Dec. 21 letter to the DEA’s Acting Administrator Robert Patterson.

The letter was signed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), and Steve Stivers (R-Ohio).

Large quantities of unused drugs are a key driver of the crisis, according to the letter, with one report indicating between 67 percent and 92 percent of patients undergoing thoracic, obstetric, orthopedic and general surgical procedures have leftover opioids after the surgery.

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