The United States Food And Drug Administration announced on Thursday that they are looking to take a powerful opioid painkiller off of the shelves.
The painkiller that they are removing is called Opana ER by Endo Pharmaceuticals.
This is the first time that the FDA has asked for an opioid painkilled to be taken of the shelves.
The reason behind this drugs removal is “the public health consequence of abuse.”
The country is currently in the middle of a large opioid epidemic. This public health crisis is making it necessary for the government to intervene in the field of healthcare. A hard look at opioid use and misuse is well overdue.
Opana ER used to be the drug of choice for many addicts who were at the center of an HIV outbreak in the year 2015. This drug is twice as powerful as a highly abused opioid known as OxyContin.
Opana ER, oxymorphone hydrochloride, is used to manage pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment for which alternatives aren’t strong enough, according to the manufacturer’s website. The FDA approved it for this use in 2006.
“My comment is ‘wow,’ ” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. “This is pretty exciting. This is big news.”
Though it is a “good sign” for the fight against opioid abuse, he said, “Opana is not the only one that needs to come off the market.”
Endo had tried to make it harder for addicts to use Opana ER by making it with a coating that made it hard to crush. The medication is intended to release over time, but addicts had been crushing it to get a massive high all at once.