Thirteen drug distribution companies knew or should have known that hundreds of millions of prescription narcotic pills were ending up on the black market, according to an investigation by The Washington Post.
The Drug Enforcement Administration this week announced it is requiring significant cuts in the production of prescription opioids, HealthDay reports. By 2017 the amount of prescription opioids permitted to be manufactured in the U.S. will decrease by at least 25 percent.
A new study finds the risk of prescription opioid addiction rose 37 percent among young adults between 2002 and 2014. Past-year heroin use also rose among 18- to 25-year-olds, from 2 percent to 7 percent.
The Food and Drug Administration has stepped up warnings about the dangers of combining opioid painkillers with benzodiazepine sedatives. The agency is requiring new warnings on labels for opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine, as well as for benzodiazepines such as alprazolam and diazepam.
Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would require doctors to use prescription drug monitoring programs before they prescribe painkillers. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act is co-sponsored by Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Angus King of Maine.
A new study finds an increased risk of suicide attempts in teens is associated with prescription drug abuse, Reuters reports. Teens who said they used prescription drugs for non-medical purposes at the start of the study were almost three times as likely to report a suicide attempt a year later.
An advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration has recommended approving a long-acting opioid painkiller that the manufacturer says could deter abuse. The company that makes the new drug, Arymo ER, says it comes in a tablet that is extremely hard, making it more difficult to break down.
A new technology allows patients to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription painkillers at home. Hooshang Shanehsaz, RPh, DPH, Director of Pharmacy at Cardinal Health, who co-directed a pilot study of the drug deactivation system, says patients found it easy to use.
State drug prescription monitoring programs help prevent 10 opioid-overdose deaths daily in the United States, a new study finds. Improvements in the programs could save another two people daily, the researchers said.
Some doctors are voicing their opposition to new state laws that limit opioid prescribing. The American Medical Association and other medical groups say doctors and patients should be able to balance the need to treat pain against the risk of addiction, Stateline reports.