Makers of Quick-Release Opioid Painkillers Must Provide Doctor Training

Makers of quick-release prescription opioid painkillers will have to provide doctors with training, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The aim is to reduce the number of patients who become addicted to the drugs and combat the opioid crisis in the U.S., the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The 74 manufacturers of immediate-release opioids such as Vicodin and Percocet were notified this week of the new regulation. Doctors won't be forced to participate in the training, which must include consideration of non-opioid alternatives.

Quick -release opioid painkillers account for 90 percent of all opioid painkiller prescriptions. The requirement to train doctors has been in place since 2012 for manufacturers of long-acting opioids such as OxyContin, the AP reported.

About 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids, and more than 15,000 died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2015.

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