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In a press release earlier this month, the FDA announced that it had voted 10-3 that they would push forward a contentious new pharmaceutical into the market despite warnings from Senators, NGOs and fellow FDA members.

The new opiate, Dsuvia, is 10 times stronger than infamous Fentanyl and over 1000 times stronger than morphine. Critics worry this drug will only exacerbate the opioid epidemic that plagues the United States. Proponents for the drug claim it will fill an essential niche in the market of emergency medicine.

The new drug’s small 30 microgram dosage is meant to be used in medical emergencies where pain relief cannot be attained intravenously or orally. The FDA is releasing the medication with stringent guidelines in an attempt to prevent it from becoming another factor in the growing epidemic.

Dsuvia is available exclusively in professional medical settings, such as a clinic or a hospital, and is not available as a prescription. The drug is administered under the patient’s tongue and provides faster relief than other drugs on the market.

One of the driving reasons behind Dsuvia’s controversial acceptance was that it could be used by the military. In the battlefield, dispensing pain relief in a more traditional manner such as intravenously or orally can be a difficult task as the environment is often unpredictable. Since Dsuvia is administered sublingually, there is hope this drug will present a new way to deliver pain relief to those in the precarious situations of war. Despite the drug’s promises, critics are still unconvinced that another opioid was necessary and assert it may only result in a higher human cost.

 

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