In an effort to help curb the ongoing epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and overdoses, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tightening the indications for long-acting and extended-release versions of these drugs and is requiring the drugs’ manufacturers to conduct long-term postmarketing studies.
“The FDA is concerned about inappropriate use of [opioid pain medications], which has reached epidemic proportions in the United States,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, during a press briefing in September.
Kuehn BM. FDA Tightens Indications for Using Long-Acting and Extended-Release Opioids to Treat Chronic Pain. JAMA. 2013;310(15):1547-1548. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.280076