Opioids- a dangerous drug with a relatively tame reputation- is rapidly becoming one of America’s favorite pastimes, so much so that this year, an “opioid crisis” was declared in the US, with the number of opioid-related overdoses significantly increasing year after year.
This fact sheet released by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contains some relevant details about the crisis: 116 people die every day from this drug!
In response to the growing number of people who abuse the drugs – including those obtained by prescription – health officials across the country urged the FDA to mandate inclusion of a warning on all products containing opioid drugs.
The FDA heeded the advice by requiring the regulator’s strongest warning – a boxed warning – on over 400 opioid-containing products.
“We believe that this black box warning is a critical first step in raising awareness around the danger of co-prescribing these medications,” said Dr. Leana Wen, the City Health Commissioner for Baltimore. “We expect the agency will take this petition from front-line public health leaders very seriously, and have already had initial productive conversations with them.”