Asleep at the wheel –
Oct. 7, 2020 – The FDA estimates that 92 million benzodiazepine prescriptions were dispensed from U.S. pharmacies in 2019.
In addition, an estimated 50% of patients in 2018 took benzodiazepines for two months or longer, even though the recommended use is no more than a few weeks or months, according to FDA statistics.
Patents have expired on familiar brand names like Xanax, Klonopin and Ativan, meaning versions can now be manufactured by pharmaceutical companies that make lower-cost generic drugs. Today, there are about 20 companies in the U.S that manufacture these medications.
All will need to comply with the new warning to continue selling the drugs. Genentech, the manufacturer of Klonopin, told ABC News that “patient safety is of the utmost importance to us and we take our responsibility very seriously. We are aware of the class label update for all benzodiazepines, which includes Klonopin, and we are working with the FDA to update the medicine’s label.”