In Midst Of Opioid Crisis, Quietly Passed Law Relaxes Rules For Drug Companies
Critics of the legislation say it takes pressure off companies to detect and report drugs flowing to the black market. In other news, after fatal overdoses, advocates say dealers should face punishment, the use of an elephant sedative that's 100 times as potent as fentanyl is spreading and Ohio's attorney general says law enforcement officers should be protected from field testing street drugs.
Los Angeles Times:
Amid Opioid Epidemic, Rules For Drug Companies Are Loosened
When it comes to combating the nation’s opioid epidemic, politicians of all stripes say they are fully committed. ... But this spring, with little attention and virtually no public opposition, lawmakers approved and the president signed a new law that makes it more difficult for government to take action against a key player in the crisis: the pharmaceutical industry. The law allows companies accused of failing to report suspicious orders of dangerous drugs to submit a “corrective action plan” to persuade the Drug Enforcement Administration to postpone or abandon proceedings against them. The law also raises the bar for the DEA to temporarily suspend their licenses. (Ryan and Christensen, 7/27)
Minnesota Public Radio:
It's An Opioid Overdose Death. But Is It A Murder?
As the number of deaths from opioid overdoses has steadily increased over the last decade and a half, some prosecutors are turning more often to a state law that allows a person to be prosecuted for third-degree murder if they provided drugs that resulted in someone's death. Some defense attorneys argue that the third-degree murder law — and its accompanying instructions for juries considering the charge — are too broadly written and can ensnare and punish others dealing with addiction. (Collins, 7/27)
The Associated Press:
A New Threat In Fight Against Overdoses: Elephant Sedative
A drug used to sedate elephants and other large animals, 100 times as potent as the fentanyl already escalating the country's heroin troubles, is suspected in spates of overdoses in several states, where authorities say they've found it mixed with or passed off as heroin. The appearance of carfentanil, one of the most potent opioids known to investigators, adds another twist to the fight against opioid painkillers in a country already awash in heroin and fentanyl cases. (7/28)
The Columbus Dispatch:
DeWine Warns Ohio Police About Field Testing Potent Drugs
Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning Ohio law-enforcement agencies to reconsider testing street drugs on the scene because the potency of popular drugs — including heroin, fentanyl and even elephant tranquilizers — could harm officers who inhale or touch them. ... His concerns are valid and should be heeded, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Rich Isaacson said. (Perry, 7/27)