America has a serious problem with prescription pain medication. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, a staggering 78 Americans die every day — around 28,600 a year — from overdoses involving opioid-based painkillers. Those deaths are the most obvious human toll of an epidemic with healthcare and social costs to the country topping a whopping $55 billion each year.
On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration took an unprecedented step in an attempt to finally stem that lethal and expensive tide. Specifically, the FDA requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ENDP) voluntarily remove its opioid pain medication, reformulated Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride), from the market. If Endo refuses this request, the FDA plans to withdraw the drug’s approval.
This hard line stance comes after a review of Opana ER’s post-marketing data that revealed a shift from nasal to injected routes of