Multiple health groups have banded together to urge the federal government to relax opioid production limits during the coronavirus crisis in a letter sent Tuesday.
The groups, including the American Hospital Association, sent a letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), requesting the federal agency to increase the annual quotas for manufacturers and outsourcing facilities to develop opioids for the duration of the national emergency.
The quotas had been tightened due to the opioid addiction crisis. The organizations said hospitals are struggling to obtain enough controlled substances that “are necessary to mechanically ventilate patients safely and effectively.” They said the DEA needs to approve the increase in production “if they have any hope of meeting the current enormous demand surge.”
“We appreciate DEA’s work to protect against diversion and maintain control over the flow of opioids into our communities,” the letter reads. “However, during this unprecedented health crisis, hospitals must have sufficient CII supply to treat patients.”