Updated Apr 12, 2018

Making opioids harder to abuse led to a spike in heroin overdoses

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FDA fumbled opioid safety program

Photo: Al Drago/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The FDA and opioid manufacturers failed to independently determine whether physician safety training and patient medication guides mitigated improper opioid prescriptions and misuse, according to new federal records obtained by researchers through the Freedom of Information Act.

Why it matters: Federal regulators created this safety program in 2012 because opioid addictions, overdoses and deaths were rising, but researchers say the FDA's program relied on poor designs and data collection — and ultimately did nothing to prevent the opioid crisis from getting worse.

Keep ReadingArrowDec 30, 2019

Teen drug use in 5 stats

Drug use among teenagers is dropping, according to new federal statistics published in JAMA on Wednesday. Fewer teens are abusing prescription drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

Between the lines: Marijuana use is steady overall, but has shifted from smoking to vaping — and vaping THC products can be dangerous.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

Health care profits dip, but stocks soar

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Health care industry earnings fell 18% in the third quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2018, due in part to the costs associated with opioids litigation, according to the Axios tracker of almost 170 health care companies.

Yes, but: The industry still churned out a 6.1% profit margin, and health care stocks are at the highest they've been all year because Wall Street foresees a very profitable election year.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019