FDA Bans Generic Original OxyContin: New Form Of Painkiller Will Be Abuse-Resistant

Category: Media & Culture / Apr 17, 2013 4:33PM EDT
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday that they will not approve any generic versions of the original form of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin. In April of 2010 the FDA approved Purdue Pharma’s reformulated version of the drug that is resistant to chewing, crushing, breaking, or dissolving in water. OxyContin is one of the most powerful and abused painkillers on the market. The original form can be snorted, injected, or smoked to produce a quick high. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdoses from painkillers in the U.S. caused more deaths in 2010 than heroin and cocaine combined. Purdue’s new version was designed to discourage the painkiller’s abuse, and when dissolved in water, it simply turns into jelly. When FDA approved Purdue’s reformulated version of Oxycontin three years ago, they called it a “step in the right direction”… but now, in 2013, the FDA has banned the original form of the drug, barring it from the legal U.S. market. The FDA said in a statement, “The FDA has determined that the benefits of original OxyContin no longer outweigh its risks.” With Purdue’s exclusive patent rights to produce the original OxyContin approaching its expiration date, generic pharmaceutical firms were eyeing the opportunity to produce the potentially dangerous drug. Thumbnail credit: Flickr user 'pingpongdeath' But, sadly for them, Purdue Pharma now has many more years of exclusive patent rights over its new abuse-resistant version of Oxycontin.