The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that a number of websites are illegally selling unauthorized and misbranded opioids. As outlined in the FDA news release, the illicit opioids, which include products such as tramadol and oxycodone, provide no instruction on use, an issue that further exacerbates risk of addiction, abuse and overdose. Furthermore, the agency notes these medications may be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise unsafe.
According to the FDA, use of opioids without physician oversight can lead to potentially life-threatening health conditions, such as respiratory depression and withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies. Healthcare providers are strongly encouraged to communicate these risks to patients and, as stated by the agency, emphasize that opioids should only be “used under the supervision of a licensed health care provider.”
Policyholders are advised to be aware of the following websites cited in the FDA warning:
- Thomas Meds
MLMIC joins the FDA in its commitment to addressing the national opioid crisis. We offer a number of resources to assist our policyholders with opioid compliance, including Risk Management Tips that can be beneficial in formulating a plan and properly documenting the care and treatment of these complex patients:
- Risk Management Tip #10: Managing Patients with Chronic Pain
- Risk Management Tip #14: Managing Drug Seeking Patients provide information