- Massachusetts is considering legal action against drug companies that make painkillers, citing misleading marketing practices and a concern about widespread abuse, crime, and even death, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- According to the CDC, 74% of the deaths in the U.S. related to painkillers were due to overdose.
- The FDA is encouraging companies to incorporate abuse-deterrent features into painkillers as a standard part of drug development, and approved several such drugs in 2014.
The attorney general of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, is concerned about the high level of addiction to painkillers, as well as the crime and death that goes with it. Furthermore, addiction to painkillers is viewed as a common gateway to heroin abuse.
The FDA has long focused on the incorporation of abuse-deterrence features into opioids; however, some pain-management advocates claim that this approach is rigid and does not recognize the widespread problem of chronic pain.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately two million Americans are addicted to opiates, while the the Institute of Medicine estimates that 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.