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FDA requires opioid makers to develop doctor training

September 28, 2017 GMT

U.S. regulators are requiring manufacturers of the most widely prescribed painkillers to provide extensive training to doctors in an attempt to stem the ongoing opioid addiction crisis.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called the drugs a “potential gateway to addiction” in a blog post Thursday. He said the FDA this week notified 74 manufacturers of immediate-release opioids such as Vicodin and Percocet that their drugs will be subject to the requirements. Doctors would not be compelled to take part in the training.

About 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids, and more than 15,000 died from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2015.

Manufacturers of long-acting opioids such as OxyContin, which release their doses over 12 hours or more, have been subject to the requirements since 2012.