WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration approved a powerful opioid Friday, despite warnings and criticism from physicians who said the drug will contribute to the opioid addiction epidemic.
The drug, Dsuvia, goes under the tongue and is restricted to use in medically supervised health care settings like hospitals, surgical centers and emergency departments as well as on the battlefield. It is intended to treat intense pain.
Critics said the drug would be easy for health workers to pocket and sell into the illicit drug market because it's so small and concentrated, which will make the risk of overdose more likely, according to NBC News.
"There are very tight restrictions being placed on the distribution and use of this product. We’ve learned much from the harmful impact that other oral opioid products can have in the context of the opioid crisis," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, in a release.
Read: Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on agency’s approval of Dsuvia and the FDA’s future consideration of new opioids
LEARN MORE: Opioid Nation: An American Epidemic