Relatives of Painkiller Overdose Patients Speak at FDA Hearing

Relatives of patients who overdosed on painkillers told federal regulators Thursday they want changes on the labels of narcotic painkillers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Pain patients concerned such action could limit their access to the medications spoke against the proposed changes.

They spoke at a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing on the use of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. The FDA said it wants to gather scientific evidence on issues including diagnosis and understanding of patient pain, understanding and adhering to the labels of pain-treating products, limiting opioid prescriptions and use, and abuse and misuse of opioid medicines.

The FDA is considering a petition by Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, a group of doctors and pain specialists, to include a recommended upper daily dose on the medications’ label, and to limit opioid treatment to 90 days, the article notes. The doctors’ group is also recommending that opioids be indicated for severe pain, not moderate pain, except in cancer patients.

Last month, a FDA advisory panel voted to strengthen restrictions on hydrocodone combination drugs, such as Vicodin. The panel recommended the FDA make the drugs more difficult to prescribe. If the FDA accepts the panel’s recommendation, it will be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, which will make the final decision.

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    February 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Wrong.Wrong.Wrong. Many of the people speaking had relatives who abused pain medicines which were not prescribed for them. Only one person there had a relative who took pain medicine as prescribed and passed away. Everyone else passed away from abuse. There is a big difference between use and abuse.

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    February 8, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I have chronic pain all day everyday, I was
    diagnosed with fibromalgia in 1998 and severe
    osteoporosis as of 2013. I don’t want the government involved in my medical care or
    how much pain medication I need. That’s why I have a Doctor. The government has failed at
    all their efforts to control drugs coming into our country not to mention all the money
    that has been spent. I live in Nevada drugs
    are all over the place,again at 64 years of age I should be able to get the quantity I
    need without checking with how the government feels about it.

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