FDA may mandate drug training

Perhaps triplicate prescriptions are not enough of a safety measure when it comes to powerful narcotics. At least, that’s what the FDA might be thinking. The agency is considering mandatory training for clinicians who prescribe certain narcotic medications, including methadone, fentanyl and some versions of oxycodone.

It’s a move that would be controversial and one that the FDA cannot make in a vacuum, according to Bob Rappaport, the agency’s director for the division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Rheumatology Products, as states usually have jurisdiction over regulatory and education issues when it comes to physicians.

As it stands, a state medical license and a simple registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration are all that are necessary for a physician to prescribe narcotics. At present, states like California that require additional training are the exception rather than the norm.

Read the full story in the New York Times

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