In an effort to disrupt the fentanyl supply chain, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new federal plan. The approach builds on the President’s National Drug Control Strategy by cracking down on the production, sale and trafficking of illicit fentanyl.
To build on the trend of decreasing overdose deaths, the administration is restricting illicit fentanyl supply chains by:
Leading a coordinated global effort with international partners to disrupt the illicit synthetic drug trade. This global coalition will develop solutions, drive national actions and create synergies and leverage among like-minded countries who agree that countering illicit synthetic drugs must be a global policy priority. The Biden-Harris Administration will improve tracking of pill presses and their spare parts, including die molds, used to transform powder fentanyl into pills, in collaboration with state and local law enforcement; strengthen Federal law enforcement coordination to increase seizures of bulk cash being smuggled at the Southwest Border; and better track and target the origins, shipments and destinations of precursors and equipment used to produce illicit fentanyl and its analogues, including by enhancing collaboration across the Federal government’s targeting, screening and analysis programs.
To disrupt criminals’ access to capital and materials, the administration is launching a whole-of-government effort, in partnership with the private sector, to strengthen cooperation with international and domestic express consignment carriers to interdict more illicit substances and production materials; educate companies on safeguarding against the sale and distribution of dual-use chemicals and equipment that could be used to produce illicit fentanyl; and intensify global engagement with private chemical industries.
The administration will expand its efforts to disrupt the illicit financial activities that fund these criminals by increasing accountability measures, including financial sanctions, on key targets to obstruct drug traffickers’ access to the U.S. financial system and illicit financial flows. They will also strengthen collaboration with international partners on illicit finance and anti-money laundering efforts related to drug trafficking.
Traffickers are continually altering the chemical structure of fentanyl to evade regulation and prosecution under the Analogue Act. Congress temporarily closed this loophole by making all fentanyl-related substances Schedule I. However, this measure expires on December 31, 2024. The administration continues to call on Congress to permanently schedule all illicitly produced fentanyl-related substances into Schedule I and to take other complementary actions to enhance public health and public safety, consistent with the comprehensive proposal developed jointly in 2021 by the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
In addition to these actions to reduce the supply of drugs, the administration is accelerating public health initiatives to save lives, for example by:
- Equitably expanding availability and access to opioid overdose reversal products, including the nonprescription drug approval of naloxone, and delivering more life-saving naloxone to communities hit hard by fentanyl.
- Launching a national campaign to educate young people on the dangers of fentanyl and how naloxone can save their lives.
- Working to close the addiction treatment gap by working with medical professionals to make prescribing proven treatments for opioid use disorder part of routine health care delivery, and ensuring that manufacturers, wholesalers and pharmacies are making medications available to everyone with a prescription. This also includes providing addiction treatment while individuals are in jails and prisons, and continuing their treatment in their communities, which has been proven to decrease overdose deaths, reduce crime and increase employment during reentry.