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FDA oversight of the prescribing of fentanyl products is inadequate, report finds

February 22, 2019 / Jeff Lagasse

The Food and Drug Administration and manufacturers did not take action when evidence emerged that potentially lethal fentanyl products were being inappropriately prescribed to patients, new research from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows. The study was based on a review of 4,877 pages of FDA reports and other documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from 2012 to 2017. It revealed that, even as evidence emerged that as many as half of patients were taking dangerous medications known as TIRFs that should never have been prescribed to them, the FDA and fentanyl makers did not review prescribing records of even a single physician to consider disqualifying them from the program, which would have prevented them from prescribing the products.