WASHINGTON (WJHL) — Rep. Diana Harshbarger has introduced legislation that she says will help solve the opioid addiction epidemic by closing a loophole regarding suspicious drug shipments.
The Northeast Tennessee congresswoman introduced the bill last week, which would require drug manufacturers and distributors to halt suspicious orders of controlled substances. Currently, they are only required to report suspicious orders to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Breaking the opioid epidemic’s stranglehold on our nation is one of my foremost priorities,” Harshbarger said in a release. “In an effort to do so, my colleagues and I have identified a loophole that allows distributors to continue order fulfillment, even under suspicious circumstances. My bill closes that loophole with the requirements and guardrails needed to ensure these addictive and potentially dangerous drugs do not fall into the wrong hands while the DEA investigates. The future of our nation depends on us solving the addiction crisis, and this is a step towards that outcome.”
The legislation comes after a 2018 report that recommended Congress examine the role that drug distributors play in the opioid epidemic.