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Those fighting the opioid epidemic react to FDA's approval of new drug

This undated image provided by AcelRx Pharmaceuticals shows the dispenser and a tablet for the company's medication Dsuvia. On Friday, Nov. 2. 2018, U.S. regulators announced the approval of the fast-acting, super-potent opioid tablet as an alternative to IV painkillers used in hospitals. (Craig Sherod Photography/AcelRx Pharmaceuticals via AP)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- A new opioid was approved by the FDA last week, while it’s not meant to get in the hands of anyone outside a medical facility, it’s still causing concern.

Dsuvia is an opioid that is meant to be a powerful, non-injectable pain reliever only administered by heath care provider, but since it’s 10 times more potent than Fentanyl many are questioning why we need it.

“What is their thinking?” It’s obviously not thinking of what’s best for the American people,” said Kathy Dugan.

Even in the wake of the opioid epidemic, the FDA approved a new drug, Dsuvia, one that’s about 10 times more potent than Fentanyl.

Families Against Narcotics VP and pharmacist Kathy Dugan says because of its strength, she’s concerned about accidental overdoses.

“The main reason that they gave us is for soldiers in the battle field, that they want to have a pain reliever that wasn’t injectable, that would work quickly, so you put it under your tongue and it’s a pretty powerful opioid,” said Dugan.

And even though it will only be allowed at medical facilities with strict regulations, that doesn’t ease everyone’s concerns.

“My daughter Dana lost her battle to opioids in an overdose,” said Nancy Dow. “Her addiction began in a medical facility.”

Dow says for that reason, she thinks the approval of this drug could cause even more people to become addicted to opioids, when we are doing so much as communities to fight the epidemic.

“Maybe this particular drug won’t make it out of the medical office, which I have concerns about,” said Dow. “Even if it doesn’t, there are other opioids out there that these people will be able to get.”

While Dugan doesn’t necessarily think it will make its way to the street, she says if it ever did, it will be deadly.

“So, I don’t see generally it being an issue,” said Dugan. “It’s just more, ‘why do we need another one’.”

“When we introduce a new drug like this I feel like we’ve gone backwards,” said Dow.

Dugan also says she doesn’t think this drug will make its way to local hospitals anytime soon.

Since it just was approved, it’s very expensive and she also doesn’t think there is much of a need for it.

Hospitals can just use the pain relievers they already have.

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