A Controversial Move: The FDA Approves Opioid Painkiller for Preteens
With more and more people being diagnosed with rare ailments and disorders pharmaceutical companies are always looking for new methods of treatments with their drugs. This statement is no different for children. If you look on social media, the news, and any other outlet children are suffering from some severe ailments and disorders as well. So, a controversial move was made. The FDA approves opioid painkiller for preteens. That might sound shocking to some of you. What you they consider a preteen? The FDA is approving the use of opioid painkillers for children in the age group of 11 to 16 years old.
The FDA Approves Opioid Painkillers for Preteens, But Why?
There is the big question. Why did the FDA approve these painkillers for this age group? This approval is for preteens that have not benefited or been relieved by the alternative medicines for their ailment. Therefore, opioid painkillers will not be the first choice in a treatment plan for these children. The children also have to display a tolerance to a minimum dose of 20 milligrams of oxycodone. Oxycodone is the active ingredient in OxyContin, the most common opioid painkiller. While there is extreme controversy over this approval, think about it from a different perspective. Now this perspective will have a pros and cons list to it.
Think about this topic from the perspective of a parent. You have a child that has been diagnosed with a rare ailment and nothing the doctors gives your child seems to help. You sit there everyday, watching your child suffer, scream, and cry. As a parent, you naturally would do anything to take this pain away. This is were the approval comes into play. The doctors can now prescribe a more powerful drug that will help your child. And this is where the cons side comes into play.
While yes, you are now able to offer powerful painkillers to your child for their ailment, the question is: Are you creating a bigger problem down the road? Powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin are not only very dangerous, they are also very addictive. With the FDA just approving these painkillers in preteens, we do not know the out come of this approval. Are we just creating more addicts, at a younger age? Will these preteens approved for this drug, grow up to be addicts or even worse, will they die before they even reach adulthood from their addiction or complications of taking these drugs at such a young age?
Even though the FDA approves opioid painkillers for preteens, there are precautions being put in place. The FDA has asked Purdue Pharma LP, the producer of OxyContin to conduct and evaluate the drug use in these preteens to see if there is any reason to recall this approval. While this sounds good on paper, the first thing that came to mind was bias. Why is the FDA letting the manufacturer of the drug conduct and evaluate these children? Shouldn’t an outside source be in charge of that? What are the chances of Purdue Pharma LP admitting fault in their product and taking a loss in the market?