FDA calls for action on painkiller abuse

published Tue, Jul 10 2012 01:49 GMT
Prescription painkillers have surpassed cocaine and heroine as the leading cause of death in drug overdoses, which is why the Food and Drug Administration said Monday that pharmaceutical companies must finance educational programs for doctors in hopes that greater knowledge will help curb the abuse.The opioid painkillers, also known as narcotic or opioid analgesics, are a class of drugs that includes oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone. More than 20 drugs companies make them, including Endo Health Solutions Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., which have operations around Philadelphia. Endo, Pfizer and Janssen said Monday they support the FDA's move. "Misprescribing, misuse, and abuse of extended-release and long-acting opioids are a critical and growing public health challenge," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.

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