Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (09/24/1998)

Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1998 - Amends the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to require the Attorney General to determine that registration of an applicant to manufacture, distribute, conduct research with, or dispense specified controlled substances or listed chemicals is inconsistent with the public interest if: (1) during the five-year period immediately preceding submission of the application, the applicant's registration was suspended or revoked; or (2) the Attorney General determines, based on clear and convincing evidence, that the applicant is applying for the registration with the intention of using such registration to violate CSA provisions.

Authorizes the Attorney General to suspend or revoke a registration upon a finding that the registrant has intentionally dispensed or distributed a controlled substance with the purpose of causing, or assisting in causing, the suicide or euthanasia of any individual, with exceptions for dispensing or distributing a controlled substance for the purpose of: (1) alleviating pain or discomfort; or (2) carrying out a death sentence under Federal or State law.

Requires the Attorney General, prior to any proceeding with respect to denial, revocation, or suspension of registration, to make a finding that the applicant or registrant: (1) has dispensed or distributed a specific controlled substance that was directly responsible for the death of an individual; and (2) did not dispense or distribute such substance as medically indicated.

Sets forth provisions regarding the burden of proof and requests for review by the Medical Advisory Board on Pain Relief.

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish such Board, which shall review the administrative record of the proceeding (if an applicant or registrant requests Board review) and issue to the Secretary and the Attorney General an advisory opinion as to whether the dispensing or distribution of the controlled substance at issue in the proceeding was for the purpose of alleviating pain or discomfort in a manner that does not violate this Act. Directs that the Board's opinion be part of the administrative record and be considered by the Attorney General in determining whether to deny, revoke, or suspend the registration involved.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretary to designate an officer of the Department of Health and Human Services to serve as a liaison between the Secretary and the Attorney General in carrying out this Act.

(Sec. 5) Specifies that the operation of the Drug Enforcement Administration's diversion control program shall be construed to include carrying out CSA provisions added by this Act.