For the first time, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested that a drug manufacturer pull their painkiller off the market because the potential harm it could have outweighs its potential benefits.
The government agency has requested that the makers of OpanaER, also known as “panda” or “Ops” by addicts who inject or snort this opiate, pull their product off the market over public health concerns related to drug abuse. According to the FDA, this prescription painkiller is twice as powerful as the more commonly used OxyContin.
“We’ve reached a tipping point in the opioid epidemic gripping the nation in which the impact on public health must now be weighed whenever a new painkiller is introduced into the market,” said Dr. Damon Raskin, an addiction medicine specialist at Los Angeles’ Cliffside Malibu addiction treatment center.
If the maker of the prescription painkiller, Endo Pharmaceuticals, refuses the FDA’s request to pull their product from shelves, it is highly likely that the agency will pull their approval of the opiate to force its removal. Scott Gottlieb, M.D., the commissioner of the FDA, has received an increasing amount of public scrutiny over the past few months for not doing more to push back against the opioid epidemic gripping the nation. Calling for the removal of a dangerous drug may not change the public’s opinion overnight, but it does indicate a step in the right direction moving forwards.
“The opioid epidemic impacts communities of every size throughout the country and is affecting all age, ethnic and economic groups,” Dr. Raskin stated. “The FDA ban of OpanaEr is a step in the right direction… There continues to be a place for prescription painkillers in the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain, but there are alternatives to drugs that are highly addictive and can be easily abused.”
Our staff here at Schick Shadel Hospital is committed to ensuring that every patient who walks through our doors receives the highest level of care. Over the past 80 or so years, we have helped more than 68,000 people break free from their addictions through our counter conditioning method, and will continue to help those in need for as long as our doors remain open. Give us a call at (800) 272-8464 to speak with someone about your current situation, or send us a confidential message today.