Recent news revealed that the FDA is concerned about a growing opioid abuse epidemic. The Food and Drug Administration announced that they will make new attempts to face the opioid epidemic.
The FDA is struggling to bring the issue under control by reevaluating the agency’s perspective towards opioid medications.
Moreover, President Barack Obama’s intention is to ask Congress for $1,1 billion in order to fight the epidemic in the U.S. Opioids are known to be a type of drugs that include oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and even heroin. It is estimated that in 2014, 28,648 deaths in the U.S were closely related to drug abuse.
The FDA is planning to reassess the opioid drugs risks and benefits so as to ensure that the agency takes into consideration their full range of effects on the public. Moreover, they will form a professional advisory committee which will analyze each application for new opioid drugs.
They will also make naloxone and medication-assisted treatments more accessible for patients who suffer from medical problems treatable with opioid use.
Robert Califf, Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco said that:
‘We are determined to help defeat this epidemic through a science-based and continuously evolving approach.’
What’s more, the FDA will try to find better options in order to manage patients’ pain as well as alternative medications. In order to accomplish this, the agency will be guided by external professionals.
The expertise in the pain management field and drug abuse will give the FDA better chances in the fight against the opioid epidemic. It has been announced that the FDA asked the National Academy of Medicine to create a framework in order to monitor individuals’ pain levels.
Patients will be better informed concerning their treatment course so as they can make the best decision regarding their care.
The gathered data will help experts to understand better the risks of opioid abuse or misuse. The Centers of Disease, Control and Prevention also support the FDA’s plan for action. The CDC worked on guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain which they wanted to put into use last month. However, the CDC’s plan failed as too much secrecy drew the attention of the public, as well as backlash from health advocates.
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