Vertex announces new non-addictive painkiller
New England Council member, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, recently announced that its new experimental painkiller is as effective as an opioid when treating acute, postsurgical pain; however, unlike opioids, Vertex claims that this new drug carries no risk of addiction.
The painkiller, currently called VX-548, is set to be sent to the FDA for approval by mid-year. Though the drug has yet to outperform others when treating pain, the fact that VX-548 is equally effective as some opioids without the risk of addiction could prove to be groundbreaking. Opioids have caused a decades-long endemic in the US, with almost 83,000 people in the US dying from opioid overdoses in 2022. Despite the highly addictive nature of these drugs, they are still commonly prescribed by doctors for post-surgical pain. If approved, VX-548 could mark a new age of pain treatment and a possible end to the opioid crisis.
“We are very pleased with the results from the VX-548 pivotal program, which demonstrate a compelling and consistent combination of efficacy and safety across multiple acute pain conditions and settings,” Reshma Kewalramani, Vertex’s chief executive and president, said in a statement.
The New England Council would like to commend Vertex Pharmaceuticals for the creation of this groundbreaking medication.
Read more in the Boston Globe.