Opioid Overdoses Fuel Rise in Accidental Deaths
Opioid overdoses are fueling a sharp increase in accidental deaths in the United States, according to a new report by the National Safety Council.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has exempted a liquid morphine painkiller from a crackdown on unapproved drugs, HealthDay News reported April 8.
In response to requests from hospice experts, FDA said the drug would remain available until it is replaced by an approved version or an equivalent drug. The liquid morphine, often administered to dying patients, was one of nine unapproved drugs targeted for withdrawal by the FDA in a March 31 directive. FDA officials initially believed that the highly concentrated drug could be replaced by other, more diluted versions.
Porter Storey, executive vice president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, praised the FDA for showing “an amazing level of responsiveness we're not used to seeing in our government officials.”
The FDA directive remains in effect for the other drugs on the list, and manufacturers have 60 days to cease production and 90 days to end distribution if they want to avoid FDA seizures and other regulatory action.