Generic OxyContin products and manufactures have been banned by FDA from selling in the US market following longtime requests by the original OxyContin producer and health organizations asking the agency to stop painkiller abuse.
Oftentimes, painkiller abuse in the US has been referred to as a major plaque sweeping the US, with estimates pointing to a death toll of 15,000 individuals per year because of prescription pill overdoses. The CDC went as far as declaring painkiller abuse as an epidemic. On the overall, prescription drug abuse has been estimated to cost a whopping $524 billion a year (drugabuse.gov), as addiction to tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs and a desire to forget about the everyday nuisances have been pushing the overall prescription pill abuse by 400 percent over the past 13 years.
With that in mind and seeing as recent data places prescription painkiller abuse among American teens today 40 percent higher than the previous generation, banning the generic version of the crushable OxyContin, is just one step of many that should be in place to come. The crushable generic version of OxyContin was the easiest way addicts could abuse of the painkiller. In Kentucky alone, nearly 1,000 residents die each year because of prescription-pill abuse, mainly crushed and snorted OxyContin.
“The development of abuse-deterrent opioid analgesics is a public health priority for the FDA” said Douglas Throckmorton M.D. and deputy director with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA regulatory programs. “While both original and reformulated OxyContin are subject to abuse and misuse, the FDA has determined that reformulated OxyContin can be expected to make abuse by injection difficult and expected to reduce abuse by snorting compared to original OxyContin” he added.
It’s a decision that Kentucky law enforcement and health advocators have taken well. “I think (it) saves lives” said Karen Kelly, president and CEO of Operation UNITE Eastern Kentucky. “Preventing this from hitting the streets is a major victory” she added. A similar statement was released by Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway who said he is “extremely pleased that the FDA heeded the bipartisan advice of state attorneys general and policymakers throughout Kentucky and elsewhere”.