The tail wagging the dog

WSJ: “The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it will require some painkiller manufacturers to produce new educational tools in an effort to quell prescription-drug abuse.

The requirements will affect makers of long-acting and extended-release opioids, which include oxycodone, morphine and methadone.

Letters have been sent to manufacturers of the drugs describing the medication guides and tools for physician training that are now required, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. The FDA will approve the materials, which will also be accredited by professional physician-education providers, she said, a step meant to combat bias in the materials.

Oh. My. Gosh. Let me see if I can wrap my brain around this. The FDA is going to require that manufacturers of certain “painkillers” tell physicians how to properly use the drugs instead of requiring physicians to read the literature and do exactly what they’re trained and paid to do. Crud, it’s nothing a good pharmacist couldn’t fix. Why doesn’t the FDA simply require physicians to run these same prescriptions through a pharmacist for approval or give pharmacist prescriptive authority instead. It makes a lot more sense than putting the manufacturers in charge of the asylum. I would be utterly embarrassed if a drug manufacturer had to tell me how to properly use a drug because I couldn’t get it right. I think the healthcare system has officially reached a new low. Unfortunately this ain’t no limbo contest.

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