As part of the federal governments desperate plan to put a leash on the opioid crisis, responsible for turning a large majority of the United States population into a legion of pill-popping junkies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a plan that will force more painkiller producers to provide training for the health care community.
According to a report from CNN, the FDA has expanded its training requirements beyond the makers of extended-release opioids to include those pharmaceutical companies in the businesses of manufacturing “short-acting” pain medications. The new rule will force these companies to train physicians, nurses and pharmacists on how to properly assess a patient’s need for a narcotic painkiller and even when to offer alternative treatments.
The agency said it was updating its policy since 90 percent of the 200 million opioids prescribed in this country are for short-acting medications, like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
The idea is to make the professionals involved in the prescription process better aware that these types of drugs come with just as many health risks as the extended forms.
“America is simply awash in immediate-release opioid products,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said during his recent announcement on the policy change. “Many people who become addicted to opioids will eventually move on to seek higher-dose formulations of these drugs or illicit street drugs, which are increasingly the low-cost alternatives.”
During a two-day meeting held this week by the FDA, a panel of experts gathered to discuss just how short-acting opioids, sometimes referred to as “abuse–deterrent” because they cannot be melted down for injection, might be contributing to the addiction and overdose problem.
In the end, the consensus was that the term “abuse-deterrent” might be giving medical personnel a false sense of security for the safety of the drugs.
“We don’t want to improperly convey a perception that a product that’s resistant to manipulation and abuse is somehow also less prone to fueling addiction when that’s simply not true,” Gottlieb said.
Some of the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that 33,000 people died in 2015 as a result of an opioid overdose. The report indicates that more than half of these casualties were due to prescription painkillers.
Sadly, the mortality rate is expected to keep climbing, as there are now more than 2 million American citizens hooked on these medications.
Data released last week from the CDC shows that while prescriptions for opioids are showing signs of slowing down, doctors are still prescribing way too many of these drugs to even begin to get a grip on the problem.
Under the guidance of Gottlieb, the FDA has been exploring the possibility of strong-arming doctors into entering a mandatory training program before they can prescribe opioids. Groups like the American Medical Association have vehemently opposed this concept because they feel the method is too “one-size-fits-all” to do any good.
The FDA recently called for the elimination of a popular extended-release opioid called Opana ER. The drug has been connected to high rates of abuse in the Midwest.
This was the first time the agency has ever pleaded with a drug maker to pull one of its products from the market. Since then, the manufacturer (Endo Pharmaceuticals) has agreed to comply.
National Poll Finds 61 Percent of Americans in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana
Pennsylvania Police Chief Supports Pot Decriminalization Bid
Survey Indicates Teen Marijuana Use in Colorado is Lower Than National Average
Family of Man Killed by Bulldozer After Growing Pot Sues Police
Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers
First Clinical Trial Of Cannabis For PTSD in Veterans Is Now Complete
Missouri Police Raid Hospital Room of Stage 4 Cancer Patient Using Cannabis
Oklahoma House Passes Medical Cannabis Protection Bill
News5 days ago
Indiana State Trooper Seizes $3.5 Million Worth of Cannabis, Vapes
News5 days ago
Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive
News6 days ago
Study Finds Medical Marijuana Alleviates Seniors’ Pain, Reduces Opioid Use
News7 days ago
Survey Shows 25% of Cannabis Users in Legal States Consume at Work
Legalization6 days ago
Breaking: Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil Plan to Legalize Marijuana
Culture5 days ago
The New “Miss Marijuana” Pageant Comes With Outdated Guidelines and Transphobia
Grow6 days ago
An Interview With Dinafem Seeds: Europe’s King Of Feminized Seeds
News7 days ago
Shut-Down Meatpacking Plant to be Reopened as Medical Cannabis Facility