Major study finds ‘no evidence’ that cannabis relieves chronic pain

A large study stretching over a 4-year period challenges popular beliefs, as it finds “no evidence” that cannabis use improves the symptoms of chronic pain.

More and more people are taking prescription opioids for pain management, making the phenomenon “an emerging public health concern globally.”

Of all the countries in the world, North America has the “proportionally highest” use of prescription opioids.

Full story at Medical News Today

FDA Announces Plan to Reassess Approach to Opioids

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it will reassess its approach to opioid medications, in an effort to reverse the epidemic of abuse. The plan comes in response to pressure from Congress, The New York Times reports.

FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco Dr. Robert Califf said Thursday the agency will toughen its response to the opioid crisis, while still allowing patients in pain to have access to effective relief.

The agency said it will convene an expert panel before approving new opioids. It will toughen requirements to study drugs after they come to market, and increase access to pain management training for physicians and other prescribers.

Full story of FDA’s approach to opioids at drugfree.org

Drug Ad Aired During Super Bowl Could Help Fuel Opioid Addiction Crisis: White House

A White House official said an ad intended to raise awareness of opioid-induced constipation, which aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl, could help fuel the opioid addiction crisis, according to USA Today.

The ad was paid for by two pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo, which are marketing a drug called Movantik to treat opioid-induced constipation. In atweet, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough responded to the ad by saying, “Next year, how about fewer ads that fuel opioid addiction and more on access to treatment.”

When asked about the ad at a press conference, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama Administration is not proposing any new regulations on the marketing of opioids. He added that the pharmaceutical industry needs to be part of the solution.

Full story of opioid addiction crisis ad airing during Super Bowl at drugfree.org