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Medical examiner confirms Prince died from opioid overdose

The musician Prince died April 21 from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, according to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office. The news comes as the federal government and Congress are stepping up efforts to curb the growing prescription drug epidemic in the US. Fentanyl is prescribed to treat persistent moderate to severe pain, most often in cancer patients, who are already on continuous opioid therapy. The drug is already blamed for a sharp increase in overdose deaths. Fentanyl is 25-25 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement ... Read More

FDA panel recommends approval of drug to treat heroin, prescription drug addiction

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted to recommend the approval of a small, experimental implant to treat heroin and prescription drug addiction. The drug, Probuphine, made by Titan Pharmaceuticals, is a matchstick-sized implant that is designed to help addicts overcome their habit. The panel voted 10-4 with one abstention to approve the drug. If approved, the drug could receive a $50 million milestone payment. Titan purchased the U.S. and Canadian rights to Apple Tree Partners’ Braeburn Pharmaceuticals. “Opioid dependence is a rapidly growing public health concern and we remain committed to expanding the treatment options available to ... Read More

FDA to consider abuse-resistant oxycodone, Remoxy

King Pharmaceuticals Inc., in partnership with Pain Therapeutics Inc., has resubmitted its application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its painkiller Remoxy, touted by the manufacturer as being an abuse-resistant version of OxyContin. The FDA had previously delayed approval of the drug until it had more proof that Remoxy is less addictive. Remoxy is a treatment for moderate to severe chronic pain and is intended to meet the needs of physicians who prescribe opioid painkillers and want to minimize risks of drug diversion, abuse or accidental patient misuse. The drug is used to treat pain by slowly releasing ... Read More