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Prescription Drugs Market Research Reports & Industry Analysis

In April 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new program focused on curbing the abuse and reducing associated risks of prescription opioid painkillers. The Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program focuses primarily on educating doctors about proper pain management, patient selection and improving patient awareness about how to use these drugs safely.

According to the White House, prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic, estimating that in 2007 alone, over 33 million Americans age 12 and older misused opioid painkillers. That same year, drug overdose in the U.S. was one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death, second only to motor vehicle accidents.

One important target of the campaign is the safe disposal of medications. In many cases, doctors have been found to prescribe larger doses of opioids than patients actually use. Many of these pills find their way onto the black market. Additionally, more than half of all non-prescribed painkiller users get their drugs from someone they know. As part of the plan, FDA wants opioid manufacturers to provide prescribing physicians with educational materials, including a medication guide that uses consumer friendly language to explain safe use and disposal.

The drugs targeted by the REMS plan include brand name products known under the generic names hydromorphone, oxycodone, morphine, oxymorphone, methadone, transdermal fentanyl, and transdermal buprenorphine.

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Prescription Drugs Industry Research & Market Reports

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