Stivers applauds DEA proposed rule implementing his unused medication act

U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) on Dec. 4 called a recently proposed rule by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) a critical next step in implementing language from his Reducing Unused Medication Act of 2016.

“The DEA’s action is long overdue, but nevertheless I am grateful to see that it has finally taken this important step to keep unused opioids out of the medicine cabinets in homes across the country and out of the hands of those who would abuse them,” said the congressman.

Language in Rep. Stiver’s bill — which was included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that was signed into law in 2016 — allows patients, in consultation with their doctors, to request a partial fill of opioid medications by pharmacists, according to the lawmaker’s office. 

The DEA on Dec. 4 in its Partial Filling of Prescriptions for Schedule II Controlled Substances notice in the Federal Register, proposed to amend its regulations to conform to Rep. Stivers’ statutory provision and to set forth corresponding regulatory requirements. 

“In the four years since CARA and the Reducing Unused Medications Act were signed into law, the nation has continued to suffer from a drug epidemic, one that has only worsened amidst the pandemic,” Rep. Stivers said. 

In fact, more than 50,000 Americans died in 2019 due to an opioid overdose and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 40 states have reported an increase in overdoses, according to the congressman’s office.