Advisors for the FDA told the agency that it has a “risk communication” problem on opioid policy, as opposed to the general assertion among some members of the medical community that prescribers just need to be better trained in pain management. The agency has a mandatory Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for long-acting extended-release (ER/LA) opioids, which it says has delivered continuing education to tens of thousands of healthcare providers on safe opioid prescribing. However, stakeholders stressed the need for patient education and new non-opioid pain therapies, rather than simply creating “abuse deterrent” versions of existing painkillers and training prescribers to recognize dependency. Last month, the agency said it was reassessing its policy regarding opioids in what some say was a small concession during a political battle over the appointment of its new commissioner, Robert Califf, MD.
Read more via MedPage Today here.