Officials with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have proposed to cut the amount of controlled substances to be manufactured in 2018 by 20%, compared to 2017, according to a press release.

Under the proposed notice being published in the Federal Register, the DEA is taking steps to reduce more commonly prescribed schedule II opioid painkillers, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, codeine, meperidine, and fentanyl.

According to the press release, sales data obtained from IMS Health have indicated that demand for these pain medications has dropped.

The DEA considers data from the FDA, estimates of retail consumptions based on prescriptions dispensed, manufacturers’ disposition history and forecasts, as well as data from the DEA’s own internal system for tracking controlled substances transactions and past quota histories, to establish the Aggregate Production Quota (APQ) for the year.

The APQ determines the total number of controlled substances necessary to meet the estimated medical, scientific, research, industrial, and export needs for the year and for the maintenance of reserve stocks.

After setting the aggregate quota, the DEA allocates individual manufacturing and procurement quotas to manufacturers that apply for them. Additionally, the DEA may revise a company’s quota at any time during the year.

DEA proposes reduction to amount of controlled substances to be manufactured in 2018 [news release]. Washington, DC. DEA’s website. Accessed August 4, 2017.