FDA Asking Opioid Makers to Educate Public on Prescription Painkillers

As part of the new government plan to reduce prescription drug abuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking manufacturers of prescription painkillers to create materials for consumers about how to safely use and dispose of opioids, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The FDA specifically mentioned OxyContin, Avinza, Dolophine and Duragesic as some of the drugs that “are extensively misprescribed, misused, and abused, leading to overdoses, addiction and even deaths across the United States.”

The FDA’s call to drug manufacturers to create new consumer materials about opioids is part of a new government strategy that aims to cut the use of prescription painkillers by 15 percent in five years. The plan includes doctor training, promoting prescription database in all states and increased focus on rooting out illegal “pill mill” clinics.

The article says that while the details of what must be in the educational materials is not yet known, the American Pain Foundation has safety recommendations including not mixing pain medications with alcohol; not taking a medication unless it is prescribed for you; not driving until a drug’s side effects are under control; and locking up pain medications to keep them away from children and other household members who could take them, accidentally or intentionally.

Our Coalition, together with the DEA and Northern Dutchess Hospital, will participate in a Medication Take Back this Saturday, April 30th.  Bring your unwanted prescription or over the counter meds to the hospital 10am-2pm for proper disposal.

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