DEA provides update on opioid shortage

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The Drug Enforcement Administration released a statement April 10 on the ongoing opioid shortages affecting both human and veterinary medicine.

"In order to prevent any pharmaceutical drug shortage that negatively impacts patients, DEA is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, drug manufacturers, wholesale distributors and hospital associations to ensure that patients have access to necessary hospital-administered pain medications," according to the DEA statement. "These include certain injectable products that contain morphine, hydromorphone, meperidine, and fentanyl."

"In recent months, the largest U.S. manufacturer of these injectable products has slowed production at one of their manufacturing facilities in order to perform necessary and required upgrades. As a result, this company voluntarily surrendered a portion of their quota allotment and DEA reallocated these amounts to three DEA-registered manufacturers of FDA-approved injectable products in accordance with DEA regulations. It is important to note that an increase in DEA procurement quotas to various manufacturers cannot alone prevent future shortages as DEA does not control the quantity or the speed by which manufacturers produce these or any of their products."

The AVMA remains in frequent communication with the DEA, FDA, and other stakeholders to advocate for veterinarians' needs during this shortage. The AVMA encourages veterinarians experiencing shortages to report this information to the FDA by emailing AskCVMatfda [dot] hhs [dot] gov (AskCVM[at]fda[dot]hhs[dot]gov) or calling 240-402-7002, and to use professional judgment in treating patients with opioids or available alternatives.

Related JAVMA Content

Shortage of pain drugs results from manufacturing issue (Jan. 15, 2018)