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What We're Reading: Marijuana for Pain; FDA Against Cancer Warning on Coffee; Illegal Opioid Sales


Illinois has passed a law allowing doctors in the state to prescribe marijuana as pain medication in a fight against the opioid epidemic; the FDA has told California that a cancer warning label for coffee is misleading; and the FDA is continuing its push against the illegal sale of opioids.

Illinois Allowing Doctors to Prescribe Marijuana as Pain Medication

In a push to battle the opioid epidemic, Illinois has passed a new law that will allow doctors in the state to temporarily prescribe marijuana as a painkiller. Since 2008, 11,000 people in the state have died from opioid overdoses, and opioid abuse killed nearly twice as many people as traffic accidents in 2016. According to The New York Times, the bill is effective immediately.

Cancer Warning Label for Coffee is Misleading, FDA Says

The FDA has sent a letter urging California to drop a controversial ballot initiative labeling coffee a cancer risk, reported the Los Angeles Times. The state has argued that coffee should carry a Proposition 65 warning label because it contains the chemical acrylamide, which is created when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. The chemical is on the Proposition 65 list of confirmed or suspected carcinogens, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that coffee poses a cancer risk, said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.

FDA Continues Its Fight Against Illegal Opioid Sales

The FDA has sent warning letters to 4 more online networks that operate 21 websites telling them to stop illegally marketing and selling “potentially dangerous, unapproved, and misbranded versions of opioid medications, including tramadol.” According to a press release from the agency, the networks that received the warning letters include: CoinRx, MedInc.biz, PharmacyAffiliates.org, and PharmaMedics. In June, the FDA sent warning letters to 9 online networks that operate more than 50 websites.

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