For the first time, the FDA has ordered a drug company to remove a painkiller from the marketplace because it is too addictive to be safe, reports CNN.
The drug is about twice as powerful as OxyContin, another often abused opioid. Opana ER, oxymorphone hydrochloride, is used to manage pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment for which alternatives aren’t strong enough, according to the manufacturer’s website. The FDA approved it for this use in 2006.“My comment is ‘wow,’ ” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. “This is pretty exciting. This is big news.”Though it is a “good sign” for the fight against opioid abuse, he said, “Opana is not the only one that needs to come off the market.”