The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has reduced the amount of almost every Schedule II opiate and opioid medication that may be manufactured in the United States by 25 percent or more in 2017.
Some medicines were reduced by more, like hydrocodone, which will be reduced to 66 percent of last year's level.
Demand has decreased for these opioid medicines, according to sales data from IMS Health, a company that provides insurance companies with data on prescriptions written and prescription medications sold in America.
The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released last month found 6.5 million Americans over the age of 12 used controlled prescription medicines non-medically during the past month, second only to marijuana and more than past-month users of cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined.
Earlier this year the CDC issued guidelines to practitioners recommending a reduction in prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain. For years, DEA and others have been educating practitioners, pharmacists, manufacturers, and the public about the potential dangers of the misuse of opioid medications.
When Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), the quota system was intended to reduce or eliminate diversion from “legitimate channels of trade” by controlling “the quantities of the basic ingredients needed for the manufacture of [controlled substances].”
The purpose of quotas are to provide for the adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical need of the types of schedule I and II controlled substances that have a potential for abuse, while limiting the amounts available to prevent diversion.