Prescription Drugs

FDA to Require Changes to Prescription Painkiller Labels

Meddle, meddle, meddle


The Food and Drug Administration announced on new changes to the labeling requirements for long-acting painkillers on Tuesday in a further effort to curb prescription drug abuse, which now takes more American lives than car accidents or gunshot wounds.

Agency officials said the labeling changes, which will take effect by the end of the year, would "help improve the thoughtful prescribing of these medicines," which include Oxycontin, a highly addictive opioid that has figured prominently in the abuse epidemic.

The agency is also requiring producers of such drugs to conduct additional studies on the risks of taking the drugs,to better identify which dosage and duration of use is most appropriate in chronic treatment of pain, officials said.