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Reports US

US stock market daily report (April 04, 2014, Friday)

April 7, 2014, Monday, 04:48 GMT | 00:48 EST | 09:18 IST | 11:48 SGT
Contributed by Millennium Traders

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first naloxone prescription product - Evzio - for the treatment of possible overdose of opioids, to be administered by anyone. Opioids include legal prescription drugs to treat pain such as OxyContin (oxycodone) and Vicodin (hydrocodone with acetaminophen) as well as illegal street drugs such as heroin. Opioids can cause a rapid and fatal overdose, if not acted on immediately. Previously, naloxone could only be administered for opioid overdoses by emergency health care professionals or those with special health care training.

Anyone can give a person who is overdosing on opioids Evzio by using an auto-injector that does not require a separate needle and syringe. The results of using naloxone are so dramatic that even a comatose patient due to an overdose, can awaken. The auto-injector includes recorded instructions on how to deliver the medication, as well as reinforcing the need to seek emergency medical attention immediately because even though Evzio works quickly to reverse the overdose, the reverse is only temporary for the effects of opioid overdose. A significant part of the reversal includes the severely slowed breathing that can lead to death during an overdose.

In the USA during 2010, over 16,650 deaths were linked to the overdose of prescription opioids and over 3,035 deaths were linked to the overdose by heroin. The approval of naloxone for administration by anyone was a combined effort of the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services as a potential means of saving thousands of lives each year. While the use of prescription opioids is important to treat pain in patients, continued high rate of abuse raised the awareness of needing an improved method of administering the potentially life saving drug.

Key drivers targeted by the FDA for the safe administration of potentially lethal opioids include:

Changing the labeling of certain opioids to help improve their safe use.

Requiring that manufacturers conduct studies of the safety of long-term use of certain prescription opioids.

Requiring that manufacturers of certain opioids make training available to practitioners (physicians, dentists and others authorized to prescribe opioids) on responsible prescribing practices and assessing and addressing signs of abuse and/or dependence.

Strengthening our surveillance efforts to actively monitor the changing nature of prescription opioid abuse and identify emerging issues.

Working with the Drug Enforcement Administration on opioid controls.

Encouraging the development of new forms of opioids that are resistant to abuse.

Supporting the development of new pain treatments, especially non-addictive treatments.