FDA Heightens Control over Overdoses of Painkillers

On Friday, as many as 24 giant drug makers of various different prescription painkillers presented the US Food and Drug Administration with potential plans to effectively control the overuse and abuse of these drugs.

The FDA has been demanding pharmaceutical companies to find a way to halt the many hundreds of "fatal overdoses" that happen every year due to abuse of painkillers. Executive from giant pharma firms, including Johnson & Johnson and King Pharmaceuticals, proposed that via patient medication guides, letters to doctors and additional physician training, the misuse of painkillers and their overdose could be effectively curbed.

FDA had sent letters to 16 firms in February, demanding that they design a proper risk-management plan for the drugs they manufacture, and after many months of extensive discussion, the companies presented their "joint proposal" to try and combat the problem, thereby saving many lives over the years.

The drugs that have been put under doubt include morphine, oxycodone and methadone, and this is the first time that the country's health regulators have called for a risk-management plan for an entire class of drugs.

As has been confirmed by the FDA, the agency would hold more talks and meetings with pharma companies, doctors and the general public in the coming year over the issue.

New York Times  has contributed to the report.

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