The FDA has recently requested for Opana ER, an opioid used for relieving pain, to be taken off the market. Fox11 reports that this is the "first time the FDA pushed to remove an opioid because of public health concerns."
This request is being made by the FDA because of the how often the drug is being misused. Endo Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the drug, must remove it from the market or else the FDA plans to take action by force.
Opana ER is estimated to make up a large percentage of America's opioid prescriptions. However, Dr. Amber Korn of Sona Pharmacy claims she rarely distributes the drug.
"It's more for those patients that have tried other things and haven't gotten the relief that they needed. It's kind of like a last line as far as what we see it for," she states.
N.C. has the "second-highest Opana ER prescription rate per 1,000 people in the country," according to FDA calculations.
In 2012, Endo Pharmaceuticals recreated the drug so it could no longer be snorted or injected. However, people still managed to inject the drug.
Once Opana ER reentered the market, the FDA saw an increase of people abusing it. The FDA believes Opana ER is the reason for the increase in HIV and Hepatitis C cases.