FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced new steps the agency is taking to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic in 2019.
Gottlieb said the agency wants to reduce exposure to opioid analgesics by ensuring their proper prescription — specifically, making sure that dose, quantity and treatment durations match their indications.
The SUPPORT Act’s passage in October 2018 has given the FDA new tools to help reduce the risk of addiction and misuse that can occur from their use, Gottlieb said. “The new law allows the FDA to require certain packaging be made available for opioids and other drugs that pose a serious risk of abuse or overdose if the FDA determines that such packaging may mitigate such risks,” he said. The legislation also allows the agency to require drugmakers to develop disposal technologies to get rid of unused medications, such as mail-back bags.