July 23, 2019

Feinstein Provision in Recently Passed Opioid Bill Will Help Stop Flood of Pills

Washington—Senate Drug Caucus Co-chair Dianne Feinstein today released the following statement on reports that 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills were shipped to pharmacies around the country between 2006 through 2012, including more than 8 billion pills to California.

            “It’s staggering to see that billions of opioid pills were shipped around the country over a six-year period, more than 8 billion just to California,” said Feinstein. “A single pharmacy in Livermore, a city of just 90,000, received more than 350 million pills over this period. It’s unacceptable for drug manufacturers and distributors to continue to fuel the opioid crisis by shipping vast quantities of pills that are rife for abuse.

            “That’s why my colleagues and I introduced and passed the Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act. This important law makes pharmacy order histories available to drug shippers and requires them to report any suspicious patterns or face civil and criminal penalties.

            “The number of pills shipped in recent years shows why this legislation was badly needed. I’m pleased we were able to pass it into law and I hope it will go a long way toward making sure we don’t see vast quantities of opioids flood our communities.”

Background

  • From 2006 to 2012, there were 8,057,279,422 prescription pain pills supplied to pharmacies in California.
  • Northern California received the highest number of pills per person in the state with some areas seeing 97 pills per resident.
  • The Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act was passed in 2018 as part of the SUPPORT Act, a comprehensive package of bills to battle the opioid epidemic.
###