In the wake of marketers and distributors selling illegal and unapproved products for treating diseases like opioid addiction and withdrawal, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have jointly issued a warning letter to them. The letter was issued primarily to the marketers of 12 opioid cessation products, including “Mitadone” and “Opiate Freedom 5-Pack.”
Expressing concern over the above malpractice, the joint letter expressed, “People who are addicted to opioids should have access to safe and effective treatments and not be victimized by unscrupulous vendors who are trying to capitalize on the opioid epidemic by taking the advantage of consumers and selling products with baseless claims.”
The warning letter comes at a time when the federal authorities in the United States are taking numerous steps—such as capping the prescription rate or limiting the course/duration of prescribed medicine—to curb the incredible surge in the opioid crisis. In fact, opioid epidemic is one of the serious health threats in the U.S. Rather than solving the crisis, a large number of people like these marketers are exploiting the problem for their own advantage.
Generally, they use online platforms to promote their products, which they claim to be capable of treating and preventing opioid addiction. Such unscrupulous practices have emerged as a major disruptive factor in the fight against the opioid crisis. Besides the steps taken to bring down the level of the crisis, it is equally essential to ensure that every patient receives the right recovery treatment and aid. Corroborating this fact, the letter states, “Reducing the number of Americans who are addicted to opioids and cutting the rate of new addiction is one of the Administration’s highest priorities. This work includes promoting more widespread innovation and access to opioid addiction treatments for the more than 2 million of Americans with an opioid use disorder.”
According to the FDA, these products are unsafe and a great health risk to the patients. Moreover, they also keep them away from the right treatment and medication. Such scams are not only violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, but are also misleading the people genuinely seeking help to treat their opioid addiction and withdrawal symptoms. “Making unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is also a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits deceptive advertising,” added the FDA.
FDA takes concrete steps to curb opioid addiction
For years, the U.S. has been reeling under the threat of opioid crisis. While it was earlier common among war veterans and patients of chronic illness, the menace has now spread among teenagers, women and the elderly population. According to the experts, the prime factors behind the incredible surge of crisis could be the frequent writing of prescriptions by medical practitioners, sharing of prescription and consuming opioids for nonmedical purposes. Additionally, the misconception of prescription drugs being less harmful than illicit drugs is also fueling the crisis to a large extent.
After measuring the extent of threat posed by the opioid crisis, the FDA in the recent past considered the dangers of the epidemic equivalent to the levels of Ebola and Zika virus. In the light of the above revelation, it was declared a public health emergency by the authorities. Subsequently, they decided to develop a new framework for approving and writing painkillers. They want to simultaneously emphasize upon the greater availability of nonaddictive painkillers.
Apart from working toward providing safe and effective medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to those suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD), the FDA is also making efforts to reduce to promote the use of FDA-approved therapies. Moreover, the FDA, along with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued a fact sheet to assist people in finding the effective treatment and not falling prey to dubious products making claims, such as “Relieve Your Symptoms…addiction, withdrawal, cravings.”
Educate consumers for treatment of opioid addiction
Prescription opioids are chemically manufactured medicines that contain the measured amount of components to treat a specific concern. Therefore, overdose or nonmedical use of these opioids can cause permanent changes in the body and brain leading to irreversible impairments. Hence, one should not self-medicate himself or herself with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and strictly adhere to the prescribed dosage.
If you or your loved one is suffering from opioid addiction and looking for help, you can get in touch with Prescription Drug Addiction Help to know about the nearest prescription drug rehab. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-623-3847 or chat online with our experts to know more about the prescription drug addiction treatment available.