Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called his staff Tuesday to explore “more forceful” methods to curb the opioid epidemic.
“’Opioid prescriptions should be written only for appropriate patients and for appropriate durations,’ Gottlieb said in his first interview since becoming commissioner. ‘No more 30-day supplies for tooth extractions’ or uncomplicated hernia repairs.”
As a first step in revamping the agency’s role, Gottlieb created the Opioid Policy Steering Committee, consisting of senior FDA officials.
He charged them with exploring three specific areas: Whether the FDA should require opioid education for health-care professionals; how the agency could ensure that the number of doses prescribed patients the most effective amount to the medical needs, and whether the agency is properly weighing the risk of opioid abuse as part of the drug-approval process.
It is said that these efforts made by Gottlieb should make an impact on the opioid epidemic, and in time we will see if that holds true.