State lawmakers call on FDA to change dosing instructions on opioid medications


The Baker-Polito Administration is pushing the FDA to change the way opioid medications are labeled and packaged. 

According to the Department of Public Health, 1,974 people died of opioid overdoses in 2018, 86 fewer than the year before. 

Top state lawmakers including Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Robert Deleo said the reduction isn’t enough, so they’re asking opioid manufacturers to change their practices. 

The state officials sent a letter to the FDA asking them to revise opioid labeling “to return to evidence-based language about the safety and efficacy of the drugs.”

In February the FDA said it planned to require “unit of dose packaging,” or small quantities of the medication pre-packaged by dose.

But since that change has not gone into effect yet, state lawmakers said they are stepping in to protect residents across the Commonwealth and across the country. 

Baker, DeLeo, Spilka, and Polito are urging the FDA to “act swiftly,” before more lives are lost to opioid addiction.

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