Business news: Elsevier, FDA
FDA is looking into opioids and chronic pain and has scheduled a two-day public hearing, beginning February 7. Each seven-hour session will be held in Bethesda, MD, and will address questions that include what methods professionals currently use to distinguish types of pain, how they differentiate chronic from short-term pain and if there is data that would support or oppose implementing maximum daily doses. The drug category came under periodic scrutiny in 2012, a review which included the outing of an industry-funded pain-pill advocacy group for recommendations lacking scientific bases, as well as CDC research that indicates prescription painkillers, both opioid and non, are linked to 75% of prescription drug overdoses. The CDC also reports that about 2 million people first used prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in 2010. This comes down to approximately 5,500 first-time non-medical users a day. The FDA issued draft guidance earlier this month that proposes drug makers test a drug's abuse potential by evaluating the benefits of bypassing abuse-deterrent measures through crushing, grinding or melting the product or how a formulation could make extracting the opiates difficult and thereby limit its desirability for intravenous injection.