Washington, D.C. Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Congressman Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (GA-01) introduced bipartisan legislation that will increase patients’ access to pharmaceuticals by cutting unnecessary bureaucracy within the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The Improving Access to Safe Medicines Act will ensure that the DEA makes timely decisions on whether to de-schedule drugs recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), thereby making them available to patients with fewer restrictions. By requiring that the DEA make this determination within 180 days, this bill will reduce a barrier to care that artificially drives up costs and delays patients’ access to necessary drugs.

“We must ensure people have access to life-saving medications when they need them most,” said Congresswoman Ross. “Our bill will remove unnecessary hurdles that have prevented patients from accessing and doctors from prescribing safe treatments. The Improving Access to Safe Medicines Act will streamline the process for de-scheduling drugs that have been deemed safe by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and I’m proud to work with Congressman Carter on this important issue.”


“There are patients with chronic illnesses who have been waiting more than a year for the DEA to determine whether or not their drug will be de-scheduled,” said Congressman Carter. “This is a classic example of federal bureaucracy infringing on a patient’s livelihood. Every day we wait, patients’ access to life-saving pharmaceuticals is delayed. As a pharmacist, I understand how valuable time is in a person’s health care journey, which is why I’m glad to introduce this bill alongside Rep. Ross and eliminate this unnecessary barrier to health care access.”

Read more in Politico Pulse.

Read the full text of the bill here.