The FDA has now banned all generic medications for the narcotic medication OxyContin. OxyContin is a controlled substance similar to morphine that is prescribed for pain.
Oxycontin’s manufacturer pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, has reformulated this medication so that consumers won’t misuse or abuse it. The new formulation now makes it harder to crush, break or dissolve. The original OxyContin was being crushed and snorted through the nose, while others were dissolving it for injection use, releasing its entire narcotic payload at once rather than over time as intended. The new version turns into a jellylike mass when crushed.
As part of this decision, the F.D.A also approved a label for the new version of OxyContin stating that it was less prone to abuse through inhaling or injecting it.The decision is the first time that the agency has allowed a manufacturer to state that a narcotic drug has tamper-resistant properties, said an agency official, Dr. Douglas C. Throckmorton.
The decision by the F.D.A. comes at a time when the effectiveness of strong narcotics like OxyContin for the treatment of long-term pain has come under increasing investigation. Citing poor outcomes, some insurers are also seeking to limit how doctors use the drugs.
Along with Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of another long-acting narcotic painkiller, Endo Pharmaceuticals, has also petitioned the F.D.A. seeking a similar claim of abuse resistance for a newer version of one of its drugs, Opana. If that claim proves successful, generic versions of the original form of Opana would also be barred.
Over the last year, Purdue Pharma and Endo have pushed for federal legislation that would require many opioids to be tamper-resistant, and lobbied in favor of similar state laws.
This is may not stop the misuse of this medication, but it will sure make it difficult compared with the original version. OxyContin is a habit forming drug, and that is why it is important to only use under doctor supervision.