Pfizer, City of Chicago Look to Set Standard for Disclosing Opioid Risks

July 7, 2016

The city of Chicago and Pfizer have announced an agreement committing the drugmaker to disclosing the risks of addiction in its prescription opioid painkiller marketing.

Chicago is suing five pharmaceutical companies, claiming they misrepresented the benefits of opioids while concealing health risks. Pfizer, which actively promotes just one opioid painkiller -- Embeda -- is not named in the lawsuit.

The agreement requires Pfizer to disclose that there is an addiction risk even when opioids are used as directed. It also must note that there are no adequate or well-controlled studies of the use of these drugs for longer than 12 weeks. Additionally, Pfizer will fund medical education programs for healthcare providers prescribing opioids.

The landmark agreement has potential to be used as a model for other drugmakers selling the highly addictive opioid drugs.

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