FDA reconsiders training requirements for painkillers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering whether doctors who prescribe painkillers like OxyContin should be required to take safety training courses, according to federal documents.

A panel of FDA advisers meets next week to review risk-management plans put in place nearly four years ago to reduce misuse and abuse of long-acting painkillers, powerful opioids frequently abused for their euphoric effects.

Under the current risk programs, drugmakers fund voluntary training for physicians in safely prescribing their medications. However, many experts — including a previous panel of FDA advisers — said the measures didn’t go far enough and that physician training should be mandatory.

The FDA will ask outside safety experts on Tuesday what changes should be made to improve the risk plans, according to briefing documents posted Friday.

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