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FDA moves forward on opioid "blister packs"

The FDA announced yesterday that it's requesting feedback on requiring certain opioids to be made available in "blister packs," which would include a limited number of pills.

How it works: The goal is to reduce the number of opioid pills prescribed, especially in situations when the typical 30-pill prescription is probably unnecessary.

  • The agency asked for feedback on which opioid medications make sense to be packaged this way, and what the appropriate number of pills to include in each pack is.

What they're saying: "Patients are often prescribed significantly more opioid pills than they actually use following surgical procedures or other acute pain conditions for which opioids are prescribed," acting FDA commissioner Ned Sharpless said.

  • "This excess supply of opioids provides opportunities for misuse, abuse, overdose and development of addiction."

Go deeper: The hot spots of the opioid epidemic