September 24, 2015

New England Governors Urge Stricter Opioid Labeling

As reported by the Associated Press, the governors of all six New England states recently sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, requesting more detailed labeling requirements for immediate release opioid drugs. 

The letter requests that the FDA require labels with information for patients and prescribers on “the serious risk of addiction, overdose, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and death associated with these widely used and abused” drugs. The letter notes that currently, the FDA requires the most restrictive labeling for extended release and long-acting opioids, but not for immediate release opioids.

As noted by the Associated Press, the governors’ letter “comes amid a spike in the number of heroin and opioid related deaths.”  According to the CDC, prescriptions for painkillers have nearly quadrupled since 1999, and on average, 44 people throughout the country die every day from prescription painkiller overdoses.