New legislation set to be signed into law by US President Barack Obama would ban dozens of active ingredients now used in the production of anabolic steroids, and also make it easier for federal authorities to prohibit the production of similar products.
The legislation, the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA)of 2014, was passed by the US House of Representatives on 15 September 2014, and the US Senate on 11 December 2014.
According to its sponsors, the bill is intended to prevent steroid products from being marketed as nutritional supplements or being distributed using false labeling.
"Designer steroids are produced by reverse engineering existing illegal steroids and then slightly modifying their chemical composition, so the resulting product is not on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) list of controlled substances," Sen. Orrin Hatch, one of the bill's sponsors, explained in a statement.
A New Legislative Approach
The bill takes two approaches to banning designer steroids.
First, it bans 25 designer steroid ingredients already known to federal regulators from being sold over the counter by adding them to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as Schedule III drugs.
Second, the bill allows other drug ingredients that are in "chemical structure substantially similar to one or more anabolic steroids" added to the CSA by the DASCA to also be regulated as anabolic steroids.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the bill creates a new "temporary" scheduling process by which the DEA can issue a "temporary order adding a drug or other substance to the definition of anabolic steroids" if it believes it to be an anabolic steroid. The temporary order would take place 30 days after the order was issued, and would expire in 24 months.
Notably, the orders "are not subject to judicial review," the law states.
The DEA may also pursue permanent rulemaking to add the drug substances to the CSA, the bill states.
Finally, the bill also increases penalties for importing, exporting, manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing anabolic steroids unless the product is clearly identified as an anabolic steroid or is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Violators may be fined up to $500,000 per violation.
The legislation now awaits Obama's signature.
Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA)