Aug 23 2017
WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY) released the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision to host a public meeting next month to seek the expertise of the Pediatric Advisory Committee about the use of prescription opioids containing hydrocodone or codeine to treat a cough in pediatric patients.
The decision comes less than two weeks after President Trump declared a national emergency on the opioid crisis in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 62 people died every day in 2015 from an overdose death involving prescription opioids.
“I applaud FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb for taking preliminary steps to safeguard our children and educate prescribers about the unnecessary use of highly addictive painkillers to treat a child’s cough. The risk of addiction and other detrimental side effects should be primary considerations when prescribing opioids to children. It's encouraging to see the FDA take additional measures to make informed decisions before approving powerful painkillers for the nation’s smallest patients. Drug manufacturers who stand to profit from the sale of these medications should never be the sole advisors to the FDA."
In December 2015, Congressman Rogers and 14 of his colleagues signed a joint letter asking the FDA to reconsider its decision to approve OxyContin for use by children and urged the federal agency to allow an advisory committee to gather public input and expert testimony before making an official recommendation.
Earlier this year, the FDA changed labeling requirements for prescription codeine medications to better protect children from serious risks, including life-threatening respiratory depression and death. The new labels include a warning that codeine should not be used for any reason, including treatment of cough, in children younger than 12 years.
Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit Congressman Rogers' online office at http://halrogers.house.gov or follow him on Twitter or Instagram @RepHalRogers, and on Facebook.