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Opioid Painkiller News

Americans use more opioid painkillers than any country in the world, U.N. report finds

A United Nations study on the frequency of opioid painkiller use worldwide shows that Americans are prescribed far more opioid medications than any other country in the world. The U.S. has continued to outpace the other top 25 countries in opioid use despite recent efforts to reduce the availability of opioid medications in this country. (more…)

Lawsuits against painkiller manufacturers filed across U.S. in response to opioid epidemic

Cities and towns across the country have been devastated by the health consequences of America’s opioid epidemic. Now some of those towns – many of them in rural areas – are fighting back with lawsuits filed against drugmakers that aggressively promoted the opioid medications that helped to fuel the opioid crisis. (more…)

Opioid epidemic fueling sharp increase in drug-dependent newborns, study reports

The increased use of opioid painkillers by pregnant women has led to a drastic increase in the number of drug-dependent newborns in the U.S., a recent study has found. According to the report published in JAMA Pediatrics, the high number of drug-dependent newborns born in the U.S. is straining hospital resources, especially in rural areas where opioid abuse is increasingly common. (more…)

More Americans use opioid painkillers than tobacco products, federal study finds

More Americans used opioid painkillers in the last year than tobacco products, a recent federal study has found. The results of the study, released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, highlight the continuing danger that the epidemic of opioid painkiller overprescription poses for U.S. patients. (more…)

DEA announces lower 2017 opioid painkillers production quotas in response to abuse, overdose epidemic

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it will reduce its 2017 quota for the production of opioid painkillers by 25%. The DEA said that it was cutting the supply of prescription painkillers in the U.S. in response to the epidemic of opioid abuse, addiction, and overdoses that have plagued the country over the last two decades. (more…)

FDA issues warning about combined drug overdose risk for opioid painkillers and benzodiazepine anxiety medications

The Food and Drug Administration recently warned that the use of opioid painkillers in combination with a class of anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines may put patients at risk of a potentially fatal combined drug overdose. As a result of these health risks, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of hundreds of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other drugs to issue a new warning about the overdose risks of these medications. (more…)

Drugmakers blocking opioid painkillers marketing investigation, New Hampshire attorney general says

New Hampshire attorney general Joe Foster has accused five drug companies of blocking a statewide probe into whether the drugmakers broke the law in their marketing of opioid painkillers such as OxyContin. Foster says that the investigation could result in a state lawsuit against the drug companies if they are found to have violated New Hampshire laws by downplaying the addiction risk of opioid medications. (more…)

Facing epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse, doctors turn to alternative therapies

In an effort to curb the epidemic of opioid painkiller abuse, many doctors and health providers are turning to alternative treatments in an effort to avoid exposing patients to the risk of dependence, addiction, and overdose caused by these drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdoses caused by opioid painkillers killed more than 28,000 Americans in 2014, with thousands addicted to these drugs. (more…)

New studies warn of ‘suboptimal’ prescribing practices for opioid painkillers at U.S. hospitals

Two new studies published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine have found that improper prescribing practices on the part of doctors and hospitals may be putting patients at risk of dependency and other complications from opioid painkillers. According to the reports, these “suboptimal” practices increase the risk of dependency for patients who are prescribed opioids, which could increase their risk of addiction or overdose. (more…)

Opioid painkillers overprescription ‘one of the great mistakes of modern medicine’ says former FDA chief

The former head of the Food and Drug Administration says that the dramatic increase in the prescription of opioid painkiller medications in recent decades is “one of the great mistakes of modern medicine.” Dr. David Kessler ran the FDA from 1990 through 1997, around the time that the current epidemic of opioid painkillers overprescription began. (more…)