Critics of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve use of OxyContin in certain children as young as 11 say the move could increase painkiller abuse, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Some elected officials and addiction specialists say the decision could increase access to OxyContin, which in turn could contribute to the epidemic of addiction to painkillers and heroin. “When we make it easier for kids to get this stuff, we are sentencing ourselves to more opiate addiction and more misery for America,” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin told the newspaper.
Supporters of the FDA’s decision say it will help children suffering with pain from cancer and other serious diseases. Chris Feudtner, an attending physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said OxyContin “can be an incredibly important treatment for children who are in severe chronic pain.”