Oxycodone Production Quotas

"Until 2011, the DEA had increased the quota for oxycodone every year since 2002101 with the exception of 2008, when the quota remained unchanged from 2007.102 In 2010, the quota for oxycodone available for sale was 105,500,000 grams.103 In 2002, the quota for oxycodone available for sale was 34,482,000 grams, which means that over that eight-year period, the DEA permitted a 206% increase in the oxycodone quota.104 The DEA decreased the quota to 98,000,000 grams in 2011.105 OxyContin is available in seven dosage strengths, ranging from ten milligram to eighty milligram tablets.106 Although oxycodone is used in other medications, if one assumes, for illustrative purposes, that OxyContin was the only medication manufactured from oxycodone, the 2010 quota would permit the production of between 15,050,000,000 (for ten milligram tablets) and 1,881,250,000 (for eighty milligram tablets) tablets of OxyContin. Although the DEA has the power to limit OxyContin production through its quota authority, the DEA has dramatically increased the availability of oxycodone over the last eight years. While this may be warranted for legitimate users, the increase remains in stark contrast to the limited availability of addiction-assistance medications.107 Additionally, while the rate of marijuana dependence or abuse has remained steady over the last eight years, the number of people suffering from pain reliever dependence or abuse has increased from 1.5 million to 1.9 million over the same period of time.108"


Ferrara, Melissa M., "The Disparate Treatment of Medications and Opiate Pain Medications Under the Law: Permitting the Proliferation of Opiates and Limiting Access to Treatment," Seton Hall Law Review (South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall University, May 24, 2012) Volume 42, Issue 2, pp. 751-752.