FDA Approval Of OxyContin For Kids Raises Concerns

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

By Kenny Goldberg

Aired 8/18/15 on KPBS News

 

Drug abuse prevention advocates question the FDA's decision allowing doctors to prescribe OxyContin to children. 

At a time when prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death nationwide, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of OxyContin for children.

The agency says the narcotic can be prescribed to kids 11 to 16 who suffer from severe, persistent pain, but only after other treatments have failed. 

Drug abuse prevention advocates call the decision a bad move. 

Sherrie Rubin, a member of the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, thinks prescribing opioids to children is preposterous. 

“Oxy has been proven to be a highly addictive, mind-altering drug, and I’m concerned that parents are not going to be educated to understand what they’re giving to their children," she said. 

OxyContin is one of the most widely-prescribed painkillers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the abuse of OxcyContin and other opioids killed more than 16,000 Americans in 2013.