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Feds change rule so drugmakers must justify need for opioids


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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has approved a rule change requiring drugmakers to identify a legitimate need for opioids to justify their production in an attempt to rein in their diversion for illicit purposes.

The DEA announced Wednesday that the final rule sent for publication in the Federal Register will consider the extent to which a legally prescribed drug is diverted for abuse when the agency sets its annual opioid production limits.

The rule requires DEA to share notices of proposed aggregate production quotas and final aggregate production quota orders with state attorneys general.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the new rule "will allow the DEA to be more responsive to the facts on the ground."

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey sought to limit how many opioid pills can be manufactured each year.

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