FDA, CDC track accidental opioid overdoses

The FDA and CDC have started working together to address the growing problem of unintentional overdoses springing from the use of opioid drugs. The two agencies plan to jointly award a pair of grants to researchers who will examine several strategies for minimizing harm from opioid use.

The number of accidental overdose deaths has seen a sharp uptick in recent years. Accidental deaths from narcotics or hallucinogens among those between 15 and 64 years old grew 83 percent from 5,921 in 1999 to 10,829 in 2005. This increase has been a factor in recent increases in the number of states implementing prescription drug monitoring.

Researchers are likely to investigate risk-management strategies used by drug firms, including the steps typically taken if trouble develops, as well as actions the FDA could take besides removing a drug from the market.

To learn more about the planned research:
- read this American Medical News article

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