The Food and Drug Administration has approved the painkiller OxyContin for children as young as 11.
OxyContin, which is made from the narcotic oxycodone, is widely known as one of the nation's most abused painkillers.
However, many doctors who treat young cancer patients agree with the FDA's decision.
According to the FDA, children have less options than adults when it comes to painkillers available for use.
OxyContin, which has a time-release component to the drug, allows around-the-clock pain relief for its users. That aspect is particularly helpful for young cancer patients and children in pain near the end of their life.
Duragesic is the only other known painkiller with a time-release component that has been approved by the FDA for children of this age, according to experts.
In the eyes of many doctors and the FDA, it's in large part about helping to ease their suffering near the end of life.
After all, young kids at the end of life aren't at risk of addiction.
The concern, however, is whether the drug will be over-prescribed.0comments
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of prescription painkillers sold in the country has more than quadrupled since 1999. OxyContin is also considered a gateway drug for heroin.
What do you think? Should the FDA approve the proliferation of OxyContin or should the FDA force the drug companies and doctors to find another solution?