About Time: DEA Acknowledges that Long-Collected ARCOS Data is an Effective Enforcement Tool That Can Assist Manufacturers and Distributors

By John A. Gilbert & Larry K. Houck — Overprescribing and inappropriate prescribing of controlled substances are significant causes of the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic. We have long believed that to effectively address the opioid epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) must focus on physicians and other practitioners who fail to comply with legitimate prescribing and dispensing practices.  Two recent actions by the DOJ and DEA acknowledge that data collected by DEA since 1971 can be an effective enforcement tool and in certain cases can assist manufacturers and distributors to identify potential outliers. We reported here that in November, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced several initiatives addressing opioid abuse to include a new Louisville, Kentucky, Field Division and designated Opioid Coordinators in every district. More recently, on January 30, 2018, the Attorney General announced that DEA is attacking the opioid…

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