Office of Diversion Control, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

National Conference on Pharmaceutical and Chemical Diversion

June 2-4, 2009; Nashville, Tennessee

Introduction

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Office of Diversion Control, sponsored the 18th National Conference on Pharmaceutical and Chemical Diversion, June 2 - 4, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to DEA personnel, participants included representatives from 17 states who are responsible for policy-level regulatory drug control or operational law enforcement concerning the diversion of legally manufactured controlled substances and regulated chemicals.

The purpose of this national conference was to bring together state officials who represent all areas of pharmaceutical and chemical diversion control to meet DEA counterparts. Participants had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences as well as discuss current trends, regulatory control, and enforcement strategies.

Presentations:

Risk Evaluation & Mitigation Strategies: REMS - Dr. Bob Rappaport, Director, Food & Drug Administration, Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia & Rheumatology Products

DEA Registration Update - Rick Boyd, DEA Registration & Program Support Section

Pharmaceutical Threat Assessment - Connie Miller, National Drug Intelligence Center

DEA Pharmaceutical Operations - Robert Hill, DEA Pharmaceutical Investigations Section

DEA Policy Updates - Mark Caverly, DEA Liaison & Policy Section

Addressing Abuse of Pain Management Drugs: Legally and Legislatively - John F. DeRosier, District Attorney, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Drug Disposal Issues - Mark Caverly, DEA Liaison & Policy Section;Brian Reise, DEA Greensboro, North Carolina; and Sheriff Robert Holland, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia

DEA Regulatory Updates - Barbara Boockholdt, DEA Regulatory Section

Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2009 - Dan Dormont, DEA Office of Chief Counsel

DEA Legal Updates - Linden Barber, DEA Office of Chief Counsel

DEA Chemical Operations - Alex Dominguez, DEA Synthetic Drugs & Chemicals Section

Pseudoephedrine Tracking - Thomas Farmer, Director, Tennessee Meth Task Force

DEA Scheduling Actions - Liqun Wong, DEA Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section

Conference Report

Opening Remarks

Larry Lockhart, Acting Diversion Program Manager (ADPM), opened the conference on behalf of Rodney Benson, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division. ADPM Lockhart welcomed the group and gave a brief overview of the Diversion Control Program and its role with state and local law enforcement officials.

Denise Curry, Deputy Director, DEA Office of Diversion Control, spoke about the partnership between state and local law enforcement and DEA. She applauded the participants for their past efforts and current support of preventing drug and chemical diversion. She stated DEA was grateful for their continued cooperation especially in light of budget restrictions that are affecting most state agencies.

Mark Caverly, Chief of the Liaison & Policy Section, served as the master of ceremonies, made administrative announcements, and introduced the various speakers.

Dr. Bob Rappaport, Director, Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia & Rheumatology Products, Food and Drug Administration, gave a presentation on FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS).

Rick Boyd, Chief of the Registration & Program Support Section, provided an overview of DEA’s registration population and explained the types of information that are available to the registrant community and state regulatory agencies.

Connie Miller, Intelligence Analyst, National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), discussed the National Prescription Drug Threat Assessment report that was prepared by NDIC in conjunction with DEA. This publication is the result of an overall evaluation of reports and data from law enforcement and public health officials on the threat posed by the distribution, diversion, and abuse of controlled prescription drugs in the United States.

The first day concluded with a presentation by Robert Hill, Chief of the Pharmaceutical Investigations Section, regarding new trends used to divert controlled substances.

Day two began with a presentation by Mark Caverly, Chief of the Liaison & Policy Section, who provided policy updates on ultimate user disposal, internet legislation/regulations, electronic prescriptions for controlled substances, and the status on finalized rules.

John DeRosier, District Attorney, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, spoke about the abuse of pain management drugs and how to address this issue legally and legislatively. Mr. DeRosier expressed the importance of regulating and detecting diversion of prescription medication particularly within the teenage population. Mr. DeRosier also discussed the current status of diversion and abuse as it relates to Louisiana.

Mark Caverly, Brian Reise, and Sheriff Robert Holland presented different issues and experiences with drug disposal (“take back”) programs. Mark Caverly explained the different bills circulating throughout Congress. Brian Reise, Group Supervisor, DEA Greensboro, NC, spoke about partnerships DEA Greensboro has made with local police departments to support pharmaceutical take back programs. Sheriff Holland’s presentation highlighted the successes experienced by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office with their pharmaceutical take back program.

Barbara Boockholdt, Chief of the Regulatory Section, gave an overview of the Regulatory Section due to numerous changes in programs and personnel.

Dan Dormont, Legislative Counsel in the Office of Chief Counsel, presented an outline of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008. Mr. Dormont explained the requirements, restrictions, and violations associated with online pharmacies under this new legislation.

A subject matter breakout session was then held to give attendees time to discuss specific topics with subject matter experts. The three topics available for discussion were: Ryan Haight Act, DEA tactical squads, and DATA waived practitioners.

The second day concluded with a presentation by Linden Barber, Associate Chief Counsel of DEA’s Office of Chief Counsel. Mr. Barber discussed some of the barriers that hinder taking effective action against pharmaceutical and chemical registrants. He explained how violations of state law can be used in DEA regulatory proceedings to remove some of the barriers.

The final day of the conference began with a presentation by Alex Dominguez, Chief of the Synthetic Drugs & Chemicals Section. Mr. Dominguez presented a global and domestic overview of the trends found in chemical diversion. He included information on the steps being taken by foreign governments as well as the United States to curtail such activity.

Thomas Farmer, Director, Tennessee Meth Task Force, discussed methods of tracking pseudoephedrine purchases in furtherance of methamphetamine investigations and how to collect the evidence.

Liqun Wong, Chief of the Data Analysis Unit within DEA’s Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section, gave a presentation on the latest drug scheduling actions.

To conclude the conference, a Q and A session was held in which a panel of DEA presenters was available to answer questions from the audience.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE  •  DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION
Office of Diversion Control  •  8701 Morrissette Drive  •  Springfield, VA 22152  •  1-800-882-9539