FDA Opioid Takeback Program: Who Knew They Had a Sense of Humor?

FDA Opioid Takeback Program: Who Knew They Had a Sense of Humor?

Let’s try an experiment.

You get paid every two weeks. If, by some miracle, you have a little money left over on the 13th of a pay period (perhaps the $12 Wheat Thin you planned to have for dinner was on sale for $11). What are you going to do?

  1. Save the money in case you might need it one day
  2. return it to your employer
  3. Donate to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program

It’s okay, I admit it. That’s it Really fool.

But not as dumb as East:

“The FDA is committed to addressing the opioid crisis on all fronts, including exploring new approaches that have the potential to decrease unnecessary opioid exposure and prevent new addictions. Prescribing opioids for durations and doses that are not appropriately matched to a patient’s clinical needs not only increases the chances of misuse, abuse, and overdose, but also increases the likelihood of unnecessary exposure to unused medications.”

FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD, April 20, 2022

Earth to Carliff: Really? Do you really think there are barrels of unused opioid pills lying around? Because if you do, kindly explain where they come from. Feel free to use the figures below to build your answer.

Opioid prescriptions (in MME) have more than halved since 2011 and are now at levels not seen since 2000. So where did all those damn pills come from? Font: Grief News Network, Iqvia Data Institute for Human Data Science

So can someone who wouldn’t blow up a lie detector explain how further diminishing the non-existent hordes of pills “sitting” in imaginary medicine cabinets will do anything to mitigate this?

Drug overdose deaths per year. Doesn’t sound like recipe reduction isn’t working too well, does it? Of course, anyone with a functioning brain cell knows that illicit fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are responsible for nearly all drug-intoxication deaths; Even when prescription drugs are detected, there are almost always many other drugs involved. The red dashed lines indicate when opioid prescriptions began to be reduced (insert). Font: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Send your comments!

The FDA wants to know your opinion about its initiative to provide postage-paid envelopes to send extra pills (that you don’t have) by mail.

Good news: you have until June 21 to send your comments

Bad news: no one is going to read them.

Should you return unused opioid pills that you don’t have?

Let’s go back to the exercise I started with.

He is prescribed four Vicodin after knee replacement surgery. But your leg falls off, so you only use two of them. What are you going to do with the other two pills?

1. Save them in case you might need them one day

2. Send them to the FDA

3. Sell them on the street so you can buy another Wheat Thin

4. Relocate the FDA to North Korea

Should those envelopes be wasted?

This is, of course, a personal decision. I can’t advise you to challenge the FDA. some of you can be out of your mind Y I want to return the pills. If you’re really worried about your kids getting pills, that’s fine, send them. But if you need to go to the ER with a kidney stone or ruptured Achilles and are offered intravenous Tylenol, you may be kicking yourself.

Our government in action

It’s beyond pathetic that when 2,000 people a week die from drug overdoses, almost all of which were caused by illegal drugs, while at the same time pain patients continue to suffer greatly because their doctors have been bullied into not treating their pain well, that the FDA is still feeding us BS about prescription drugs being responsible for the “epidemic of opiates.” (1)

I suggest another award show: “The Government Oscars,” where stupid policies can win the adulation they deserve.

The envelope, please.


(1) There is no longer a single opioid crisis; there are two: patients in pain who are denied the drugs they need to survive, and people dying from illegally manufactured fentanyl.