DEA increases pharmaceutical quotas

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently increased Aggregate Production Quotas for pharmaceutical manufacturers during the coronavirus pandemic by 15 percent.

The quota applies to the production of controlled substance medications that currently are in high demand. Increasing the quotas will help pharmaceutical companies meet demands and establish and maintain reserve stocks.

Controlled substances included in the adjusted quota include codeine, ephedrine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine, pseudoephedrine, and other substance intermediates essential to drug production.

The DEA plans to increase the quota for methadone, which is used by opioid treatment programs.

“DEA is committed to ensuring an adequate and uninterrupted supply of critical medications during this public health emergency,” Uttam Dhillon, acting administrator, said. “This will ensure that manufacturers can increase production of these important drugs, should the need arise.”

The DEA also has increased the amounts of certain controlled substances that can be imported into the United States. These substances include diazepam, ketamine, lorazepam, midazolam and phenobarbital, which are used with patients on ventilators.

Quota levels will be re-evaluated after the pandemic ends.

Also in response to the pandemic, the DEA has expedited individual manufacturers’ requests for quota to meet production needs.

The DEA issued a temporary exception to its regulations last week, allowing manufacturers to increase the inventory of schedule II controlled substances.

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