As U.S. opioid deaths mounted in 2016, the incoming head of the Food and Drug Administration promised a “sweeping review” of prescription painkillers in hopes of reversing the worst overdose epidemic in American history.
Dr. Robert Califf even personally commissioned a report from the nation’s top medical advisers that recommended reforms, including potentially removing some drugs from the market. But six years later, opioids are claiming more lives than ever, and the FDA has not pulled a single drug from pharmacy shelves since the report’s publication. In fact, the agency continues putting new painkillers on the market — six in the
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