Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) today applauded House passage of the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act, their bill to keep fentanyl-related substances controlled as Schedule I, a designation reserved for substances that have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The legislation recently passed the Senate and will now be sent to the president to be signed into law.
The measure 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 a year die from fentanyl-related substances. In California, statewide deaths due to fentanyl spiked by more than 600 percent over four years. This is a public health crisis and fentanyl is the leading culprit. While this extension isn’t permanent, I’m hopeful that 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 and I thank my House colleagues for passing our bill,” said Feinstein.
“I am pleased the House of Representatives passed this legislation and look forward to President Trump signing it into law. It’s very important that we continue to keep fentanyl analogues listed as one of the most dangerous drugs in the world. I am very pleased to have reached an agreement with Senators Feinstein, Durbin and Johnson on this legislation that will prevent fentanyl analogues from being removed from the Schedule I dangerous drug list for 15 months. I hope in the coming days we can reach an agreement that will allow fentanyl analogues to be listed as a Schedule I drug permanently,” said Graham. “I also appreciate China’s recent efforts to deal with the fentanyl supply coming from China, as fentanyl has been proven to be one of the dangerous drugs known to man. There were over 30,000 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2018 alone. Fentanyl is 100 times more lethal than morphine, and 50 times more lethal than heroin.”
- 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.