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FDA Bans Painkiller Blamed For Scott County HIV Outbreak
Updated June 15, 2017 6:54 AM | Filed under: Health
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(SCOTT CO.) - The Food and Drug Administration's move last week to ban the supercharged painkiller blamed for Scott County's HIV epidemic is something that's never happened before.

The FDA has warned the makers of Opana ER it'll start the process of withdrawing approval for the drug unless the company pulls it voluntarily. The agency says it'd be the first time a drug has been pulled because of the risk of abuse.

Endo Pharmaceuticals added a protective coating to the drug in 2012 to make it harder for addicts to crush it for a quick high, but people started injecting it instead.

A flood of Opana into Scott County and the use of shared needles led to nearly 200 cases of HIV..

The FDA says it's prepared to ban other drugs "where an opioid product's risks outweigh its benefits," including the potential for abuse.

Scott Watson with Heartland Intervention in Indianapolis says the FDA is conscious of the growing problem of opioid addiction, and says the action against Opana partly reflects the fact there are other pain medications that can fulfill the same task.

Endo said in a statement last week it's still reviewing what to do.

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