A U.S. senator on Monday called for an investigation into why the Drug Enforcement Administration slowed enforcement efforts against pharmaceutical companies accused of violating laws designed to prevent pain pills from reaching the black market.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in a letter asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate. She said she had “serious concerns” about reports of an enforcement slowdown as the opioid epidemic escalated nationwide.
“This a matter of life and death and I want to know whether or not we could have done more,” McCaskill said in a statement.
A spokesman for Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz declined to comment. A DEA spokesman said the agency would review the senator’s request.