HealthDay News — The labels of prescription opioid painkillers should advise doctors to consider simultaneously prescribing the opioid overdose antidote naloxone, two U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panels recommend.

The 12-to-11 vote during a joint meeting of the committees was described by several members as a message to the federal government to make naloxone more widely available, easier to obtain, and cheaper, the Washington Post reported. Although not required to do so, the FDA often follows the recommendations of its advisory committees.

Earlier this year, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H., issued an advisory urging opioid users, their families, and their friends to keep naloxone nearby, the Post reported.

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In 2017, there were a record 70,000 drug overdose deaths, including a record 47,600 opioid overdose deaths in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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