On December 18, 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported record drug and opioid overdose deaths in it the U.S. in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMRW) (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm64e1218.pdf).
The CDC’s MMRW advised that, “More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record. From 2000 to 2014 nearly half a million persons in the United States have died from drug overdoses. In 2014, there were approximately one and a half times more drug overdose deaths in the United States than deaths from motor vehicle crashes. Opioids, primarily prescription pain relievers and heroin, are the main drugs associated with overdose deaths.”
The MMRW went on to report that “In 2014, opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths, or 61% of all drug overdose deaths; the rate of opioid overdoses has tripled since 2000. The 2014 data demonstrate that the United States’ opioid overdose epidemic includes two distinct but interrelated trends: a 15-year increase in overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers and a recent surge in illicit opioid overdose deaths, driven largely by heroin.”
While the CDC notes that, “To reverse the epidemic of opioid drug overdose deaths and prevent opioid-related morbidity, efforts to improve safer prescribing of prescription opioids must be intensified”, and last week issued draft guidelines for practitioners (see the attached CDC fact sheet at http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/guidelines_factsheet-a.pdf), now more than ever DEA registrants involved in the drug manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of controlled substances need to be vigilant in their anti-diversion efforts.
Let the team at Avantha Solutions assist you with your controlled substance (CS) compliance needs. Our team of seasoned former investigators and regulators, some of whom held senior management positions and helped lead DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, are poised to assist you with whatever your needs might be to ensure your compliance program is “forward leaning” and poised for the challenges presented by todays regulatory environment. Our compliance solutions, from tailor made reviews and assessments of organizational compliance and diversion control programs to on-site reviews (audits) in preparation for DEA and/or state authority reviews, have been established to provide organizations with the knowledge and assistance required to navigate the significant regulatory compliance challenges presented by the pharmaceutical drug supply chain.
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