Published by Health IT Analytics

Just like every other public health stakeholder, the FDA is struggling to control the immense impact of opioids on the nation’s health and wellbeing.

The opioid addiction epidemic is currently “the biggest public health crisis facing the FDA,” Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, wrote in a recent blog post, and the agency is seeking all the input it can gather on how to best prevent addiction while ensuring access to pain medications for those with true medical necessity.

“Not a day goes by in my role at FDA without hearing stories of the emotional, physical, and financial toll this epidemic is taking on Americans,” Gottlieb wrote. “FDA is committed to making every possible effort to stem the tide of this crisis.”

“We’re focused on striking the right balance between reducing the rate of new addiction while providing appropriate access to those who need these medicines. In some medical circumstances, opioids are the only drugs that work for some patients.”

In 2017, the FDA established the Opioid Policy Steering Committee (OPTC) to help navigate a number of complex issues, including how to best establish policies that could limit abuse of opioids and how to foster development of alternative therapies for effective pain management.