Wednesday, February 11, 2009

FDA to Meet with Drug Companies about REMS for Certain Opioid Drugs (Fentanyl)

From the FDA's very own site:

Certain ffected opioid drugs will be reviewed, and include brand name and generic products that are formulated with the active ingredients fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. The FDA has authority to require a REMS under the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA) when necessary to ensure that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks.

Opioid drugs have benefit when used properly and are a necessary component of pain management for certain patients. Opioid drugs have serious risks when used improperly. The FDA, drug manufacturers, and others have taken a number of steps in the past to prevent misuse, abuse and accidental overdose of these drugs, including providing additional warnings in product labeling, implementing risk management plans, conducting inter-agency collaborations, and issuing direct communications to both prescribers and patients. Despite these efforts, the rates of misuse and abuse, and of accidental overdose of opioids, have risen over the past decade. The FDA believes that establishing a REMS for opioids will reduce these risks, while still ensuring that patients with legitimate need for these drugs will continue to have appropriate access.

Read more here.