Debate Over Prescription Painkiller Regulations

Debate Over Prescription Painkiller Regulations

The number of deaths in the U.S. from narcotic painkillers has quadrupled since 1999. But the FDA’s new recommendations for tightening restrictions on narcotics is prompting concerns about pain management.

Last week, the FDA recommended tightening the way narcotic painkillers are regulated. The proposed changes on drugs containing hydrocodone are expected to go into effect next year. The move comes following a rapid spike in painkiller prescription as well as what many public health experts believe is an epidemic of abuse. It’s estimated that 100,000 people have died from overdoses in the last decade. But for patients struggling with pain, and for some doctors on the frontlines, the proposed restrictions go too far. Diane and her guests discuss the use and abuse of prescription painkillers.


Barry Meier

staff reporter, The New York Times; author of "Pain Killer: A 'Wonder' Drug's Trail of Addiction and Death."

Dr. Christopher Spevak

professor of clinical anesthesia, Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Dr. Steven Stack

emergency physician and American Medical Association board member.

Penney Cowan

founder and CEO, American Chronic Pain Association.

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