Is DEA lowballing U.S. need for ephedrine products?

July 23, 2007

DEA has been accused of underestimating the amount of ephedrine needed by the country in Rx and OTC products for 2007.

DEA has been accused of underestimating the amount of ephedrine needed by the country in Rx and OTC products for 2007. In a hearing on DEA oversight before the House Judiciary Committee this month, Edward Heiden of Heiden Associates testified that for one of his clients alone, 2005 sales of ephedrine-related products exceeded the amount DEA proposed as its preliminary 2007 annual needs estimate by more than seven times. Heiden, a consultant, represents the American Council on Regulatory Compliance, an association representing manufacturers, importers, and distributors of ephedrine-based products to convenience stores and others. Heiden claims that DEA's low estimate creates hardships not only for suppliers but also for asthmatics who have a legitimate medical need and who rely on convenience stores in locations where other retail outlets are nonexistent or closed at night.

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