Comprehensive Approach Needed To Help Control Prescription Drug Abuse

GGD-83-2: Published: Oct 29, 1982. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1982.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Arnold P. Jones
(202) 512-7797
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Because of longstanding congressional concern over the seriousness of prescription drug abuse, GAO examined efforts to control prescription drugs at the retail level.

Most abused prescription drugs are obtained at the retail level. Unintentional misprescribing by doctors, pharmacy thefts, illegal sales by pharmacists, and forged prescriptions are among the various ways by which abused prescription drugs are obtained. Legally obtained drugs appear to be involved in a major portion of the abuse taking place; however, this form of abuse is beyond the reach of law enforcement. A comprehensive and coordinated response involving the Federal Government, State and local governments, and professional associations is needed. With Federal help, each State must assess its own prescription drug abuse problem and develop a plan of action that combines elements of law enforcement, regulation, education, and professional peer pressure. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently reduced its oversight at the wholesale level and increased its criminal investigations of retail practitioners.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Computer applications have met the desired results without requiring additional staff resources.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should direct the Administrator of DEA to reallocate sufficient staff resources to fully implement the analytical reporting requirements of the Infant Formula Act.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should direct the Administrator of DEA to monitor the use of staff resources on the Targeted Registrant Investigations Program in terms of the program's success in targeting and immobilizing high-level traffickers appropriate for Federal investigation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should direct the Administrator of DEA to increase the fees charged to drug manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers under the Controlled Substances Act to recover a greater portion of Federal control costs. The DEA Administrator should determine the additional compliance and regulatory program costs to be recovered by the fees and establish fee amounts accordingly.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 21, 2016

Aug 3, 2016

Aug 1, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 5, 2016

Jun 30, 2016

Jun 28, 2016

Jun 23, 2016

Jun 22, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here