Trending News Today: FDA Temporarily Allowing Certain Impurity-Containing Losartan Products

Top news of the day from across the health care industry.

The FDA said it will temporarily allow certain manufacturers to sell losartan medications containing specified levels of a probable cancer-causing impurity to maintain adequate supplies of the drug, Reuters reported. According to the article, losartan medicines on the market that contain N-Nitroso-N-methyl-4-aminobutyric acid above the acceptable limit of 0.96 parts per million (ppm) and below 9.82 ppm will be allowed until the impurity can be eliminated. The FDA noted that it expects companies to be able to manufacture losartan without the impurity and replenish supplies in approximately 6 months, the article reported.

A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine suggests that prescription medications used to treat opioid addiction are vastly underused in the United States, The Associated Press reported. According to the report, the group called for increased prescribing of the drugs and other changes to reduce barriers to their use, which includes stigma, restrictions, and lack of training. The report concluded that patients taking opioid addiction medications have better long-term outcomes and are 50% less likely to die than if they weren’t on them, the article noted.

New findings from a recent CDC report indicate that fentanyl-related deaths among young adults have sharply increased in the United States, NPR reported. According to the article, the report showed a 113% average annual increase from 2013 to 2016 when adjusted for age, with higher rates among African Americans and Latinos disproportionately. Increased trafficking of the drug and increased use are both contributing to the spike in fentanyl deaths, since the drug is easier to produce, the article reported.