Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Senator Calls for Prominent FDA Involvement in Drug Abuse Prevention Commission

Senator Calls for Prominent FDA Involvement in Drug Abuse Prevention Commission

Posted 15 July 2013 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

A new piece of legislation introduced in the Senate last week would see the involvement of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a panel of experts meant to curb the rising tide of prescription drug abuse.

A New Committee

The legislation, the Combating Prescription Drug Abuse Act (CPDA), was introduced on 10 July 2013 by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and would establish a commission of experts and stakeholders known as the Combating Prescription Drug Abuse Commission.

That commission would be composed of a wide range of agency officials and other public stakeholders, including representatives from:

  • FDA
  • members of the pharmaceutical industry
  • the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDP)
  • state attorneys general
  • national and local law enforcement groups
  • patient groups, advocacy groups and community-based groups
  • healthcare providers
  • public policy experts

Specific Recommendations to Congress

Both FDA and DEA would have prominent positions on the committee, serving as co-chairs. The committee itself will be charged with reviewing current efforts to prevent and reduce the abuse of prescription drugs, making a report to Congress on those efforts, identifying opportunities to better prevent or reduce drug abuse and recommending ways to reduce diversion of abused prescription drugs.

The report to Congress would involve a minimum of ten recommendations on the following topics, according to the legislation:

  • improving collaboration among federal agencies, especially the DEA and FDA
  • systems for prescription drug monitoring, which shall include proposals to increase the use and sustainability of prescription drug monitoring programs
  • illegal Internet prescription drug sites and "pill mills" that distribute prescription drugs and fill prescriptions inappropriately
  • facilitating proper disposal of prescription drugs, including public outreach and education efforts with respect to such proper disposal
  • identifying active areas of prescription drug abuse
  • improving collaboration between federal agencies and relevant stakeholders, including the groups represented on the commission
  • resource needs for law enforcement
  • proposals to improve the education of providers, patients, parents, and youth
  • development of abuse-resistant products
  • recommendations for reducing robberies, burglaries, and cargo theft

The committee would not be a long-term fixture, with its term expiring two years after the appointment of its members (required within 180 days) and its funding limited to $3 million over the 2014-2016 period.


Text of Legislation


Tags: Congress

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