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Feinstein, Graham, Durbin Bill Keeping Fentanyl Schedule I Signed into Law

Washington – Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) today welcomed news that The Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act I was signed into law by the president. The legislation, which they authored, extends the Drug Enforcement Agency’s temporary order making fentanyl-related substances Schedule I, a designation reserved for substances that have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

“We cannot sit idly by while 32,000 people die a year from fentanyl-related substances. This is a public health crisis and fentanyl is the leading culprit. While not permanent, I’m hopeful this extension of DEA’s temporary order will allow us to find a bipartisan fix to this epidemic of overdoses. Fentanyl must be treated as the deadly hazard it is,” said Feinstein.

“I very much appreciate the bipartisan effort that went into ensuring that fentanyl analogues stayed a Schedule I drug because it is one of the most lethal drugs on the planet,” said Graham. “This legislation will prevent a resurgence of fentanyl analogues in a way that would have been devastating to America. This is truly a good day for those who want to fight against the scourge of fentanyl and fentanyl-like substances. I appreciate my colleagues for working with me on this legislation and I appreciate all those who worked with the Trump Administration to make this a reality.

Background:

  • The Controlled Substances Act gives DEA the authority to control drugs under one of five classifications, known as schedules. Drugs controlled under Schedule I are the most restricted in terms of access, manufacture and use.
  • The DEA issued a temporary order on February 2018 to categorize fentanyl and fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs. That order expires on February 6, 2020.
  • The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to produce a report within 12 months on the public health and safety effects of controlling fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I.

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