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FDA announces new warning labels for opioid painkillers

Posted: September 11, 2013 |   Comments

( To combat rising rates of drug abuse and overdose deaths, the Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday their plans for new warning labels on all extended-release and long-acting opioid painkillers.

"The FDA is invoking its authority to require safety labeling changes and post market studies to combat the crisis of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose, and death from these potent drugs that have harmed too many patients and devastated too many families and communities," said Margaret A. Hamburg, FDA Commissioner.

In addition to expressing concern over the risks of opioids, Hamburg acknowledged the benefits they provide to some patients in extreme pain.

Thanks to Big Pharma's ceaseless drug promotion and downplaying of side effects and risks, prescription rates for painkiller medications have shot up to worrying levels. The amount of people addicted to painkillers has reached epidemic levels, with a 2009 finding that 2 million Americans were addicted to these drugs.

Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs in the FDA's center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, "These labeling changes describe more clearly the risks and safety concerns associated with ER/LA opioids and will encourage better, more appropriate, prescribing, monitoring and patient counseling practices involving these drugs."

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