A newer version of OxyContin, created in an effort to curb the drug’s abuse, is available now. However, skeptics are still debating as to whether the newer “abuse proof” pills will actually serve in reducing addiction statistics. Though the FDA has approved this new version, it requires manufactures to implement testing to help ensure lower abuse percentages.
The new form of OxyContin makes crushing, chewing and dissolving the pills more difficult to addicts seeking to achieve the heroin-esque high it produces.
As opposed to prior OxyContin versions, the new pills host a durable gelatin capsule, offering users a 24-hour continuous release when ingested orally. The design also works to prohibit manipulation that could result in injected or snorted by addicts.
Where’s the Evidence?
Does it work? In a recent statement released alongside the new drug’s approval, the FDA warns that “there is no evidence that the reformulation of OxyContin is less subject to misuse, diversion, addiction, abuse or overdose.”
Unfortunately, there is currently little scientific evidence to support claims that the new version will serve in curbing the drug’s addictive tendencies, an ever-growing issue throughout the U.S.
As such, the FDA has required Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, to research the new pills to help determine whether they actually work to combat abuse, and if so, exactly how.
The above may be partially due to a 2007 case, in which Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to misinforming the public regarding OxyContin’s safety. Purdue Pharma was ordered to pay a fine of $634.5 million – which to date, is one of the biggest penalties ever evoked by a drug-company.