- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A group of U.S. senators including Maine’s Angus King is calling on the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to prevent painkiller abuse by setting lower opioid production quotas for next year.

King, an independent, is signing on to a letter sent by Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin to the DEA. The senators say DEA-approved opioid production levels remain too high despite a cut last year. For example, oxycodone levels were more than 50 percent higher this year than they were in 2007.

King, Durbin and a group of other senators say in a statement that lower production levels are necessary to “rein in this epidemic” of opioid abuse. The senators also say they want the DEA to step up its transparency in its process of setting quotas.

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