As the number of deaths in the United States involving overdoses of prescription opioid medications continues a decade-long increase, a multidisciplinary group of clinicians is calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revise the labels of these drugs. They argue that aggressive marketing of painkillers for chronic noncancer pain has contributed to this ongoing public health crisis, despite limited evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of these medications for patients with chronic noncancer pain.
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Physicians face a challenge in balancing the risks and benefits of using opioid medications to treat noncancer pain, because there has been limited research on this use.
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