Each time a more powerful drug is developed, there are assurances, studies, and promises. Each sleep aid, narcotic, anxiolytic, and muscle relaxant has been released with “strict monitoring” and “no known adverse effects or dependency”. And each time the public is burned in the long run. This poo-pooing of risk, although it may sound far-fetched, is what has ultimately led us to the opioid crisis. It’s like an arms race with dependency and patient safety at ground zero .
The FDA recently made headlines again with approval of Dsuvia® (sufentanil sublingual tablet), an opioid that is 10 times stronger than fentanyl. Some speculate that this new approval could cause more harm than good including more overdoses. The approval did not come without objection, including opposition from a chairman of a FDA advisory panel. Even with objection, Dsuvia® was ultimately approved in a 10-3 vote.
The FDA commissioner stated that the safety and risk of the drug was taken very seriously throughout the approval process. Of course it was. They always are.