FDA Under Fire For Approving Powerful New Painkiller
There is no denying that we live in sensitive times, particularly when it comes to America’s opioid crisis. Hospitals, doctors and pharmacies are now on high alert as the addiction and death tolls related to the epidemic continue to rise. Amid these issues, the Federal Drug Administration (aka The FDA) is now bringing an even more powerful painkiller to the market; with a new tablet that is 1,000 more potent than morphine.
The new drug, called Dsuvia, will be making its way to emergency rooms soon. Though it certainly sounds threatening, the intentions behind this painkiller are good. According to reports, Dsuvia will only be available in hospitals, military medical camps and ER settings and it will be used in the most extreme numbing situations.
Critics, however, feel that the drug will bring with a lot of dangerous tendencies. Though Dsuvia will not be prescribed to patients, there is always the risk that it could get into the wrong hands or be smuggled out of hospitals. There are also concerns that it could be utilized on the black market and eventually turn up as a deadly street drug.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb explained that his team was fully aware of the issues a drug like this could create and understood the sensitivity surrounding the crisis.
“Let me start by saying, very tight restrictions will be placed on Dsuvia,” Gottlieb stated. “It cannot be dispensed to patients for home use and should not be used for more than 72 hours. And it should only be administered by a health care provider using a single-dose applicator. That means it won’t be available at retail pharmacies for patients to take home.”
Gottlieb went on to emphasize how a drug like this could be very beneficial for soldiers in combat; stating that this pill could replace the need for intravenous painkillers (which are not always readily available on a battlefield).
Even when administered in a professional setting though, warnings were already issued for the drug. Serious side effects to Dsuvia could include extreme tiredness, breathing problems, comas and possibly death. And, for the record, it is considered to be 10 times stronger than fentanyl.
With that in mind, several high profile critics have voiced their opinions. Democratic Senator Ed Markey had previously urged the FDA not to approve Dsuvia, particularly when considering the addiction climate.
“Though I can understand that it has its positive qualities, this is an opioid that is a thousand times more powerful than morphine,” Markey told the press. “Thus, it is a thousand times more likely to be abused and a thousand times more likely to kill.”