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FDA Escalates Efforts to Stem Opioid Addiction in the U.S.

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Published on : Jul 11, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, is concerned regarding the opioid addiction that engulfs the country and is escalating the efforts to stem the inflow, proposing new regulations on some of the commonly available pain pills. The updates were provided at Silver Spring in Maryland, after a two-day public meeting of the FDA pertaining to the painkiller abuse the country suffers from.

Pain-management Sessions Viable Alternative to Opioid Drugs

According to Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of FDA, new plans have been laid out for the pharmaceutical companies to conduct programs in order to educate the doctors and medical practitioners about the immediate-release opioids, which accounts for nearly 90% of the 200 million opioid painkillers prescribed in the country each year. FDA is also of the view to promote pain-management training sessions to be conducted by doctors as well as nurses, healthcare providers, and pharmacists.

According to Gottlieb, a number of U.S. citizens are getting addicted to opioid-based drugs and seek higher dosages as the months wear-on, even resorting to illicit street drugs, which are off-label low-cost alternatives with no surety. The FDA has also formulated plans to survey doctors in order to ensure the term “abuse deterrent” is not mistaken for manipulation and less prone to fueling addiction. The plan to educate the prescribers is intended to for the healthcare providers to understand exactly what kind of patients are perfectly suited for the opioid-based drugs.

The new FDA regulations have already started to show results, as last week, Endo International Plc announced a halt in the production of its highly popular opioid painkiller called Opana ER. The FDA had reported that this drug is remotely tied to an outbreak of HIV and Hepatitis C as users often inject and share dirty needles.

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