The FBI issued an intelligence bulletin last year expressing concern over the powerful potency of the new prescription opioid Dsuvia, Yahoo News reports. The agency said it “assumes Dsuvia’s high potency will be attractive to criminals seeking to divert and abuse synthetic opioids.”
The bulletin, which has not previously been made public, concluded, “Because of its potency, Dsuvia likely will cause deaths at a rate surpassing that associated with fentanyl, increasing the overall opioid-related death rate in the near term.” Members of Congress, patient safety experts and public health advocates share the FBI’s concerns about the drug, according to the article.
In the 13 months since the bulletin was issued, Dsuvia has not been widely diverted or misused, Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Michael D. Miller told Yahoo News.
Dsuvia, delivered as a small pill, is a close chemical relative of fentanyl. It is available only in a single dosage, which means it cannot be adjusted for a patient’s weight or overall health, critics note.
The Department of Defense invested in development of the drug to help wounded soldiers, and cleared it last month for use in military kits.
Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action
Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.