Addiction specialists relieved over drug’s rejection

Prescription drug abuse

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Federal health advisers on Tuesday rejected the approval a of new powerful painkiller called Moxduo, which is a combination of Oxycodone and morphine.

In light of the recent prescription drug overdoses in the Valley, an area substance abuse center was concerned about this new drug getting into the wrong hands.

Drug abuse has reached epidemic level in Ohio.

The maker of the drug, QRxPharma, said the drug is intended for patients dealing with severe pain. Addiction specialist Doug Wentz of the Neil Kennedy Recovery Clinic in Austintown was very concerned about public safety if the drug had been approved.

“First off, we’re already in the middle of an opiate epidemic like we have not seen,” Wentz said. “In 2012, there were 48 overdose deaths here just in Mahoning County. The statistics were just released from the Ohio Department of Health.”

Wentz also had concerns about doctors prescribing the drug without enough information.

“Physicians are in a very tough spot because they have to treat pain as an important vital sign and yet my concern professionally would be one more opiate on the market,” Wentz said.

The FDA advisory committee held hearings Tuesday. The maker of the drug claims one pill would allow patients to take smaller doses of two drugs, morphine and oxycodone, than they would if they took the drugs separately. They also claim there would have been less side effects.

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