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In an unusual development, the Food and Drug Administration has sternly criticized a big provider of prescription data to the federal government after discovering an “inaccuracy” concerning the amount of fentanyl that was prescribed over the past year, as well as “data quality issues” regarding several other controlled substances.

The mistakes occurred as the agency attempts to manage and develop policies for coping with the opioid crisis, a task that can be accomplished only with the help of accurate prescribing data that is dissected for usage trends. For this reason, the FDA plans to brief members of Congress for potential public health implications and convene with other federal agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency.

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  • Everyone is so worried about the addicts but forgetting that there are 40mil chronic pain patients that are the other side of opioids. We are not addicts we are patients that had no choice in these terrible painful diseases we have but yet the government could care less above us and our need for opioids to treat our pain. We follow our dr script and sign contract , do urine test constantly, random pill counts Whenever they want which means u have 2 hours to get there or get fired by your dr. Yes we can get fired by our drs and it happens constantly for the stupidest reasons. Question the dr on what he wants to do to u .. fired refuse a treatment…fired or just for no reason…fired.
    There are patients committing suicide because they can no longer handle the pain knowing it will never go away and going from an active member of society to completely bedridden its a horrid life to live and once hope is gone they commit suicide. Please help get our side of the story out. We are dying and the pain is taken over our lives and we’re holding on by a thread that is tethered and ready to give

  • a major reason this is critical to get right is that there has been a massive influx of illicit fentanyl into the illegal market in recent years. Understanding whether fentanyl overdoses are coming from illicit vs Rx is critical.
    The Rx forms of fentanyl aren’t easy to get and/or abuse. There are no Rx fentanyl pills. Rx fentanyl comes as a nasal spray, a transdermal patch, a sublingual dissolving form and a “lollipop”. The nasal spray would be easy to abuse, but it is extremely expensive. The ‘lollipop’ and sublingual forms are primarily used with in-patients in hospitals. Abusing the transdermal patches is possible, but not simple. So it stands to reason that most fentanyl overdoses are coming from the much cheaper and much easier to obtain illicit forms.
    Illicit fentanyl is generally sold in pill form and presented as Rx hydrocodone or oxycodone, or in powder form presented as heroin.
    Because fentanyl is many times more potent than any other opioid on a mg-to-mg basis, I believe illicit fentanyl is causing a significant and growing percentage of overdoses.
    Over-reporting the amount of Rx fentanyl ‘muddies the waters’ as to the percentage of ODs coming from Rx opioids vs. illicit opioids. Understanding where the abuse and overdoses are coming from today allows us to better direct and prioritize resources to fight it. From what I can tell, the Rx abuse and ODs are down — the quantities of opioids being prescribed have been dropping a lot in recent years — and the illicit opioid abuse and ODs are way up. If so, focusing on the illicit market should be where more attention and resources go, but I don’t the media or government making that adjustment yet.

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