Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


May 13, 2013
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Bondi and Other Attorneys General Urge FDA to Place Warning Labels About Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on Opiates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.–Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, and 41 other attorneys general today sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration urging them to place a black box warning on opioid analgesics to indicate the risk of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. NAS can occur in newborns who are exposed to prescription drugs while in the womb, and symptoms can include tremors, seizures, abdominal pain, incessant crying, and rapid breathing. In 2011, there were 1,563 instances of newborns diagnosed with drug exposure in Florida. While that is a three-fold increase since 2007, NAS is still widely believed to be an underreported problem.

"We must do everything we can to protect babies from the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse by expectant mothers. We recently launched an educational campaign in Florida, and I strongly believe that placing warning labels directly on prescription opiates is another necessary step in protecting the most vulnerable victims of this epidemic," stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Attorney General Bondi, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, and members of the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns recently launched a statewide educational campaign designed to prevent babies from being born exposed to prescription drugs. The campaign educates expectant mothers about the importance of discussing prescription drug use with their doctors, and it provides ways to assist women. The campaign includes a helpline at 1-877-233-5656, a website at BornDrugFreeFL.com, video and radio spots, and billboards.

Attorney General Bondi is committed to stopping prescription drug abuse in Florida. To learn more about her efforts, visit MyFloridaLegal.com.

Follow this link to view a copy of the letter: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-97NPDY/$file/nas_warning_label_letter.pdf