Attorney General Morrisey Lawsuit Against DEA Leads To Sweeping Opioid Reform

Updated 1 year ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Tuesday his unilateral action brought sweeping reform to national drug policy.

The DEA, as a direct result of Attorney General Morrisey's lawsuit, announced a proposed rule to reduce the oversupply of opioid painkillers and end pill dumping in West Virginia.
The rule adopts Attorney General Morrisey’s suggestion that DEA take necessary steps to account for diversion, increase input from specific stakeholders and establish mandatory hearings when requested by states to consider additional evidence of excess opioid supplies.
“We must end senseless death in West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “The reform sought by DEA proves the impact of our lawsuit is still reverberating in Washington and producing real results capable of ending the oversupply of deadly and addictive painkillers that has killed far too many.”
Tuesday’s announcement followed a directive from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, itself issued hours before a key deadline in Attorney General Morrisey’s lawsuit.
Attorney General Morrisey called upon DEA to change its quota policies, which in the past, relied on the amount of pills pharmaceutical manufacturers expected to sell within a year. The perverse system placed industry wants over the legitimate medical need of patients and led to an overabundance of pills hitting the market.
The rule embraces Attorney General Morrisey’s call for DEA to seek increased input from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and every state in the nation.
In December, the Attorney General’s Office met with acting DEA Administrator Robert Patterson, who now realizes the severity of the matter in recently testifying as to the “disturbing trend” with respect to a drug quota system and the need for reforms to end pill dumping by more stringently limiting the number of pills produced.
Just this week, Attorney General Morrisey’s lawsuit that a Boone County pharmacy dispensed nearly 10 million doses of opioid painkillers in just 11 years – for a county with fewer than 25,000 residents – yielded a settlement of more than a half million dollars.
Attorney General Morrisey has invited Patterson to Charleston to further discuss the issue.
Read a copy of the DEA’s proposed rule at
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