Kathy Castor Champions the Preventing Pill Mills Through Data Sharing Act

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., championed a proposal to cut down on pill mills.

Castor paired up with U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-WV, on the “Preventing Pill Mills Through Data Sharing Act” which will “require drug wholesalers that ship opioid to drug stores and clinics to take greater responsibility for reporting suspicious quantities to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).”

This is not a new issue for Castor. Back in 2018, she got her “Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act” signed into law.

Castor weighed in on the proposal on Monday.

“Far too many families in Florida and across the country continue to struggle with opioid addiction, and the COVID-19 pandemic only has exacerbated this ongoing public health crisis,” said Castor. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Rep. McKinley to equip the DEA with necessary tools to hold drug distributors, manufacturers and pharmacies accountable and identify, report and halt suspicious orders of controlled substances. Our bipartisan, bicameral bill will take the necessary steps to increase transparency and hold all companies and pharmacies on the supply chain accountable. Most importantly, it will go a long way in keeping our communities informed and ensure our neighbors are safe.”

“While Congress has been rightly focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid epidemic has not gone away. In fact, across the country overdose deaths have only increased,” said McKinley. “West Virginia is all too familiar with the opioid epidemic, in the past millions of prescription drugs flooded into our communities and ripped families apart by the horrors of addiction.  Our bipartisan bill ensures that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will be able to collect and share data necessary to identify and prevent pharmaceutical companies from dumping mass amounts of pills into vulnerable communities, which will help keep American families safe.”

The bill would have drug companies “report the sale, delivery or other disposal of all controlled substances on a monthly, rather than quarterly basis as current law requires” while increasing their reporting, including reporting to Congress every six months, much like they currently do with the states. The bill would also have the DEA share more information with drug companies.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced the bill in the U.S. Senate in December with U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, as cosponsors. The bill has been before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee since December.

Castor defeated Republican businesswoman Christine Quinn in last week’s election, taking 60 percent of the vote.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

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