Hundreds of people die and thousands are injured in the U.S. each year due to inappropriately prescribed drugs. The F.D.A.
announced a new program Monday that will result in tighter restrictions on the prescribing of some painkilling narcotics.
The list includes drugs like OxyContin and several types of morphine. According to the F.D.A. the drugs are extremely effective in reducing pain, which is useful for patients suffering serious illnesses. The problem is, many doctors prescribe the drugs far too freely.
Local pharmacist Greg Young said there are, "some rogue doctors out there writing for OxyContin, when they know it's not a legitimate use. They're just trying to do something that's unethical or, worse, illegal."
The F.D.A. wants to put a program in place that would ensure physicians prescribing the products are properly trained in their safe use, and only these physicians could prescribe the products.
The F.D.A. usually avoids interfering with the practice of medicine, but they see fit to step in with so many inappropriate diagnoses. With the program in the early stages, there are still a lot of questions to be answered.
The F.D.A. will hold meetings with manufacturers, patient and consumer advocates, and the public throughout the year to determine how to carry out the program. The first meeting will be held March 3.