Continued dependence on opioids has left many Americans questioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it's continued failure to take appropriate note and warn consumers about the dangerous and addictive effects of such medication. Although the official stance of the FDA on opioids such as OxyCotin has been that opioid based drugs pose very little potential of addiction, or as per the drugs label, the risks of addiction were “reported to be small”, the nation continues to battle against an ongoing epidemic with painkiller dependency. With such a high prevalance of addiction, why then would the FDA continue to promote such medication?
More than two million have suffered, or continue to suffer, from an addiction to prescription painkillers; making the problem more widespread than cocaine and heroine nationwide. Many of the doctors seem unaware of the potential addictive nature of the drugs and continue to prescribe addictive medication to their patients. The continued support by the medical community appears to stem from the FDA itself, where the panel of doctors who approved the opioid policy had previous financial relationships with Purdue, a known manufacturer of such prescription medication. The influence of the drug manufacturer on the FDA’s policies is clear even on the bottle branding which states “The development of addiction to opioid analgesics in properly managed patients with pain has reported to be rare.”
Although the FDA and the medical community are quick to dismiss the addictive qualities of opioids and other prescription drugs, we must always be careful when taking a regime of medication. Watching for side effects, addictive behaviors, and dependency, will ensure that we as patients stay safe, and healthy with our dosage. As those victims of opioid and prescription dependency continue to come forward, the FDA will be forced to turn its attention from Purdue and the potential financial ties it has to the prescription drug companies, to the individual affected by inappropriate labeling and marketing of the drug. We as patients must continue to be the voice of reason in the fight against prescription dependency.