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New Safety Measures For Prescription Painkillers

By Danielle Craig

MEDFORD, Ore. — Legal painkillers, used illegally, are killing hundreds of thousands of people nationwide each year.

In Jackson County, 25 people lost their lives to pain pills in 2009; that’s why the FDA is stepping in with some new rules for oipiod painkillers.

The Food and Drug Administration wants the companies that sell the addictive drugs to provide training and updated, simple medication guides for prescribers. The safety training will be required for about a dozen prescription drugs, including opana, oxycontin, and methadone.

Jackson County has already implemented programs to cut down on prescription-related deaths and it appears to be working. In 2009, 20 fewer people died, compared to 2006. The FDA says drug companies will have to train at least 60% of U.S. prescribers within three years of launching the programs.