FDA cautions some people using pets to obtain opioids

Pet owners could be stealing opioids that were meant for their pets, according to a statement Wednesday from Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

>> Read more trending news

“We recognize that opioids and other pain medications have a legitimate and important role in treating pain in animals -- just as they do for people,” Gottlieb said. “But just like the opioid medications used in humans, these drugs have potentially serious risks, not just for the animal patients, but also because of their potential to lead to addiction, abuse and overdose in humans who may divert them for their own use.”

Gottlieb's statement comes a week after a paper released by the American Journal of Public Health urged the veterinary, public health, pharmaceutical and regulatory communities to address prescription opioid diversion in veterinary medicine, CNN reported.

"I was thrilled to see the FDA commissioner make a statement that not only validated our findings but also demonstrates why research is so important for good policy," Liliana Tenney, a senior instructor with the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who co-authored the paper, CNN reported.

About the Author