As powerful new opioid nears FDA approval, critics ask if U.S. is stoking its drug crisis

A new, potent opioid medication intended for quick pain relief has become the center of a maelstrom of controversy as the drug nears a U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval decision.

The drug, Dsuvia, consists of a single-dose tablet of sufentanil, a synthetic opioid that is many times more potent than fentanyl and 500 times stronger than morphine. The tablet comes in a preloaded plastic applicator that is used to deposit the medication under a patient’s tongue.

The FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee recently recommended Dsuvia for U.S. approval, with a 10-3 vote, and an final decision is expected by Nov.

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