Local expert discusses FDA’s approval of powerful new opioid

Dsuvia would be administered with a single-dose applicator. (Source: AcelRx)
Dsuvia would be administered with a single-dose applicator. (Source: AcelRx)(Source: AcelRx)
Published: Nov. 7, 2018 at 6:00 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The Food and Drug Administration has taken some heat over the approval of Dsuvia, an opioid five to 10 times more powerful than fentanyl.

WECT’s Frances Weller interviewed Kenny House from Coastal Horizons on Wednesday afternoon’s News Now about the drug, which can only be given in hospitals and is meant for those who can’t take medication intravenously.

"There are concerns because of what we've learned from history," House said. "We've learned we can't trust pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers to watch out for the general public. We have to be concerned about misuse and overuse."

House is the vice president of clinical services at Coastal Horizons, where he oversees behavioral health services including prevention, outpatient treatment and primary care integration programs.

Public advocacy groups were to quick to condemn the FDA's decision to OK Dsuvia, which comes in the form of a small pill.

House said he couldn't speak to why the FDA approved the drug, but noted the public needs to be wary of what could happen if Dsuvia makes it out of hospitals.

"I can only assume they believe it was legitimate and necessary in certain instances (to relieve pain)," House said. "Our concern is when it goes outside those instances."

Many parts of the US, including Wilmington, have felt the effects of a years-long opioid problem. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb called the opioid epidemic the country’s biggest crisis.

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