Doctors in the dark about FDA’s opioid safety plan: survey

The majority of doctors remain unaware of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recently-approved opioid safety plan, which is part of a federal initiative to address the prescription drug addiction epidemic, a new survey has found.

The agency’s risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS), approved in July, introduces new safety measures designed to reduce risks and improve the safe use of extended-release and long-acting opioids. The plan includes a “voluntary” training option for physicians to be educated on risks and safe use of such drugs, with the FDA hoping to get at least 60 percent of the estimated 320,000 opioid prescribers to receive training by year three of the program.

Currently, only 35 percent of physicians are aware of the plan, according to a survey by dtw Marketing Research Group.

The finding comes as activist groups are gearing up for a protest in October to protest the FDA’s strategy regarding painkiller regulation. More information about the protest can be found here.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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