A Societal Obligation: FDA Commissioner Calls for More Forceful Steps to Combat Opioid Epidemic

June 12, 2017 | Physician Practice News

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​The commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is time for "more forceful steps" from his organization to reduce the new cases of opioid addiction. Calling it within the scope of FDA's regulatory tools as well as its "societal obligations," in a blog post on May 23, 2017, the commissioner stated that FDA must do whatever it legally can to ensure opioids are prescribed only to appropriate patients under appropriate circumstances. As a first step, he is calling for the establishment of an Opioid Policy Steering Committee, which will develop new tools and strategies to confront the crisis. The committee will be asked to address three questions. First, should FDA require mandatory opioid prescribing education to healthcare professionals? This training would ensure providers understand how to identify patients at risk for abuse and how to get them into treatment programs.

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