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The Food and Drug Administration is likely to approve a new form of a powerful opioid for use in hospitals and emergency rooms despite stiff opposition.

The FDA is scheduled to decide this week to allow a California company to produce a 30-microgram pill form of sufentanil, a potent painkiller commonly used after surgery, according to the Washington Post.

The drug is five to 10 times more potent than pharmaceutical fentanyl and could only exacerbate the opioid crisis across America.

According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 49,000 people, died of opioid overdoses in 2017.

MORE: Five Of The Most Famous Wrongful Death Cases

Despite the good intentions of medical professionals, some doctors are continuing to prescribe opioids for their patients with chronic pain, in some cases for years after they have become addicted, multiple studies have shown.

Two physicians at the renowned Cleveland Clinic have been accused of over-prescribing painkillers that a lawsuit says eventually led to the accidental overdose deaths of three patients.

According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, their survivors are suing the doctors for malpractice, and the Clinic for corporate negligence for failing to properly oversee its doctors.

MORE: Lawsuits Targeting Doctors Next Opioid Litigation Wave?

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