Challenges in the Federal Regulation of Pain Management Technologies

51 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2002

See all articles by Lars Noah

Lars Noah

University of Florida - Levin College of Law


This Article considers, in turn, the roles played by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in regulating a range of pain management technologies, especially narcotic analgesics. Although implemented by two quite dissimilar agencies, the former preoccupied with medical and scientific questions while the latter focuses on law enforcement matters, these two regulatory regimes operate in tandem and overlap in potentially important ways. The Article contrasts the behavior of these agencies and suggests that Congress might want to reconsider this unstable division of regulatory authority. Finally, the tools currently available to both agencies may be too blunt for sensibly addressing the conflict that often arises between the needs of patients and efforts to prevent irresponsible use, as in the controversy currently surrounding OxyContin.

JEL Classification: I18, K23

Suggested Citation

Noah, Lars, Challenges in the Federal Regulation of Pain Management Technologies. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Vol. 31, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: or

Lars Noah (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352-273-0923 (Phone)
352-392-3005 (Fax)


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