Fake opioid addiction treatments on the rise: FDA and FTC sending stern warnings to those profiting off the illness

Sunday, February 18, 2018
By Paul Martin

by: Edsel Cook
Saturday, February 17, 2018

The skyrocketing number of fake opioid addiction treatments have prompted the United States Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue sharp admonishments to pharmaceutical companies that hawk such products, said a Daily Mail article. The warning comes in the wake of numerous companies rushing to scam profits from the more than two million Americans who suffer from opioid use disorder.

[Editor’s note: Isn’t it interesting, however, that the FDA isn’t sending warning letters to the drug companies that make the deadly opioids in the first place? The profits must continue to roll, and “repeat business” through addiction is a proven Big Pharma business model…]

Opioid addiction medications like buprenorphine, methadone, and naloxone have received approval from the FDA. Their effectiveness in assisting addicts recover from opioid use disorder has been confirmed by several studies.

However, FDA-approved treatments also cost an arm and a leg. A year’s worth of methadone, for instance, costs around $47,000. Many addicts are understandably wary of medicines that cost almost as much as a car or a small fixer-upper home.

Companies have taken advantage of this by cooking up fake drugs and marketing them as cheap alternatives to officially-approved medication. According to them, their alternative products can ameliorate anxiety, insomnia, stomach cramps, aches, and other prevalent withdrawal-like symptoms just as well as the much more expensive FDA-approved drugs.

A typical bottle of fake opioid addiction medicine sells for $15 to $60. Those prices are very attractive to cash-strapped patients. It’s gotten to the point that the FDA and the FTC have combined their efforts to deal with the flood of bogus drugs that are reportedly preventing opioid addicts from getting proper treatment.

In a recent press release, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that his agency and the FTC are “increasingly concerned with the proliferation of products claiming to treat or cure serious diseases like opioid addiction and withdrawal.”

New York officials have already started their own campaign against fake addiction treatment centers. Now the two federal agencies are intensifying their own efforts against fake opioid addiction drugs.

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