The opioid epidemic in this country is terrorizing families. Thousands die each year from overdoses. Some innocently take an opioid painkiller only to find they have become addicted and their lives quickly spiral out of control. There is a need for the local, state and the federal government to step up and address this ongoing catastrophe. The FDA has taken a small step in the right direction.
Opana ER (extended release) is an opioid painkiller, one that is in its second life. In its first version, it was discovered that it was easy to break down allowing it to be snorted. Endo Pharmaceuticals’ response, who created Opana ER, was to make a harder shell making it more difficult to break down. But according to Mother Jones,
…the FDA found that the reformulation made abuse more likely than the former version: instead of snorting it, users took to injecting it—leading to a cluster of thrombotic microangiopathy deaths in Tennessee in 2012 and Indiana’s HIV outbreak in 2014 and 2015.
The FDA has asked Endo to remove Opana ER from the market. It is the first time that the FDA has asked a pharmaceutical company who manufactures an opioid pain-killer to remove it from the shelves. Endo does not have to comply and can legitimately point to other drugs that are just as “abusable” that are still available to consumers.