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Capitol Health Call
January 12, 2011

Hold That Nomination

JAMA. 2011;305(2):139. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1906

Sen Herb Kohl (D, Wis) has put a hold on the nomination of Michele Leonhart to be administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Kohl is blocking the appointment because he thinks the DEA's heightened scrutiny of prescribing practices in long-term care settings and changes in prescribing patterns by physicians and nurses to comply with the Controlled Substances Act sometimes leaves patients with untreated pain without alleviating medicines.

At the nomination hearing November 7, Kohl chided Leonhart for not taking actions she promised at a hearing in May. “When I met you in early May, you assured me that this was a priority and that you also would address the problem swiftly. It appears that DEA is putting paperwork before pain relief,” he said. “I would like to see much more progress made on this issue before you are confirmed.”

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