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Keeping An Eye On OxyContin

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Archive for the ‘Pharmaceutical Industry’ Category

Alcoholism antidote may help opioid addicts: pharma co.

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on November 17, 2009

Cambridge, Mass.-based Alkermes Inc. says its drug Vivitrol – which is used to help alcoholics quit drinking, may also help opioid addicts, the Boston Herald reports. The news comes in a state that is in the grip of an OxyContin and heroin epidemic worse than the swine flu. The company’s press release can be found here.

Read more about Massachusetts’ issues with OxyContin abuse here.


Posted in Informational, Pharmaceutical Industry | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The pharmacist as addict

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 7, 2009

The Baltimore Sun has an interesting story on a pharmacist who became addicted to prescription drugs like OxyContin in the course of his job dispensing them. Much like Carrie John, the addiction researcher who died after injecting buprenorphine, pharmacist Jared Combs said he “put [his] knowledge of pharmacology to good use.”

Just goes to show how alluring prescription narcotics can be, even in the face of education and expertise.

Posted in Personal Stories, Pharmaceutical Industry | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

FDA panel, with concerns, backs “tamper-resistant” Oxy

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 5, 2009

pillsoverdoseA panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has thrown its weight behind Purdue Pharma’s latest version of OxyContin, which the drug maker says is reformulated with a plastic-like coating that makes it harder to crush and snort or inject. But the panel – which voted 14-4 in favor of greenlighting the company’s application – also recommended Purdue be required to conduct a follow-up study of whether the drug is actually less likely to be abused. The Wall Street Journal reports that several panel members said they gave their approval only because voting the application down would keep the current easy-to-tamper-with OxyContin on the market.

Purdue says it won’t market the drug as more resistant to tampering, but critics have been expressing concerns since last year that the new formulation will be perceived as safer even if that’s not necessarily the case.

Did Purdue learn its lesson after being slapped with a $635 million fine over its past marketing antics? Stay tuned.

One final note: Watchdog speculates that “tamper-resistant,” let alone “tamper-proof,” is ultimately a pipe dream when it comes to drugs like OxyContin. Never underestimate the power of human ingenuity.

Posted in Pharmaceutical Industry, Policy & Regulation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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