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Dec 4, 2009 4:00 PM by Associated Press

Drugmakers, FDA move to curb painkiller abuse

Food and Drug Administration officials say drug company plans to prevent the misuse of prescription painkillers need more specifics.

Earlier this year, the FDA ordered 16 companies to design risk management plans for two dozen drugs, including morphine, oxycodone and methadone. The drugs are often abused because of their euphoric effects. Other problems include physicians prescribing the potent drugs to treat migraine headaches, which is no an approved use, and patients chewing extended release pills that are designed to be swallowed. That can cause an overdose.

Pharmaceutical executives today laid out their plans to prevent such misuse at a meeting with the agency. Proposals included using patient medication guides, letters to doctors and additional physician training to curb inappropriate use.

FDA officials say that's not enough and more work is needed before measures are put in place.

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