Flores said she wasn’t sure if talking to the FDA would help. “I don’t know if it is just a formality.”

But the FDA staffers said they genuinely wanted to consider patient perspectives, and listened quietly to lengthy, often tearful, tales of untreated pain, lost jobs and days spent in bed.

“We don’t have expectations for what we are asking,” said Dr. Sharon Hertz, director of FDA’s Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products.

“If we thought we knew, we wouldn’t be asking.”

The agency is inviting public comment through Sept. 10.