The U.S. DEA Proposes Production Cuts to Five Opioids in 2020

The U.S. DEA Proposes Production Cuts to Five Opioids in 2020
Released: 09/16/2019   By: Heidi Dufrene, Pharmacy Director

The U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register this week. The agency has proposed reducing production quotas for five opioids (fentanyl – 31%, hydrocodone -19%, hydromorphone -25%, oxycodone – 9% and oxymorphone – 55%) in 2020.

The DEA sets aggregate production quotas each year for Schedule I and II controlled substances. These five opioids were subject to special scrutiny due to enactment of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act). The SUPPORT Act requires the DEA to estimate the amount of diversion of certain substances in the U.S. and to reduce quotas appropriately.

The DEA also proposes to increase the amount of marijuana allowed for research from 2,450 kilograms to 3,200 kilograms. This increase is being proposed to meet the need created by increased approvals of marijuana research. The number of individuals registered with the DEA to conduct marijuana research has risen from 384 in 2017 to 542 in 2019.

The DEA will accept comments on this proposal through October 15, 2019.  After this time, the DEA will publish a notice later in the year stating the established aggregate production quotas.

For further information, visit the DEA’s website at: