The Drug Enforcement Administration has embarked on an aggressive plan to eradicate the illegal “diversion” of certain prescription painkillers. The DEA says the plan is necessary due to increasing abuse of prescription drugs, particularly by youth. Additionally, the agency has teamed up with state and local officials for the campaign. The DEA typically employs law enforcement methods developed in the War on Drugs, including aggressive undercover investigation, asset forfeiture, and informers.
Critics contend that the DEA’s anti‐diversion campaign has focused too narrowly on doctors, exacerbating the already widespread problem of untreated or under‐treated pain. Well‐meaning doctors are finding themselves subject to costly, potentially career‐ending investigations, critics say.Several doctors have been sent to prison. The DEA maintains that its investigations and prosecutions are necessary to stave off a wave of prescription drug abuse, that only criminal doctors are being targeted, and that its efforts to prevent diversion should have no effect on the legitimate treatment of pain.
Join the Cato Institute for a half‐day conference looking at the DEA’s efforts to eradicate prescription painkiller diversion and what effects these efforts are having on doctors, patients, and the treatment of pain.
|8:30 — 9:00 a.m.||Registration|
|9:00 — 11:00 a.m.|| Panel I: Pain, Diversion, and Public Policy
Ronald T. Libby
Richard Payne, M.D.
|11:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.||Panel II: Doctors and Patients Speak Out
Frank Fisher, M.D.
Eli D. Stutsman
Dr. Linda Paey
|1:00 — 1:30 p.m.||Luncheon|