A concern also lies with the textures of these drugs. The makers of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, and Endo Pharmaceuticals, which makes Opana, claim their versions of the drugs are more resistant to melting or crushing, which, in turn, makes it more difficult to abuse. Generic versions of these drugs without said safety features will increase demand for the drugs and lead to a rise in abuse, the brand-name companies said.
Both Purdue Pharma and Endo Pharmaceuticals support state and federal legislation that would require numerous opioids to be tamper-resistant. The companies are also asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to separate drugs with tamper-resistant designs and those without.
This summer, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House that would require most painkillers to have safeguards to prevent abuse. Under this bill, most prescription painkillers would need some form of abuse deterrence, like being more difficult to inject or crush. The bill would force pain medications that did not adopt these safety features to be removed from the FDA’s approved list of generic drugs.
This past December, a federal judge threw away a lawsuit by Endo. The lawsuit was intended to block the FDA from allowing generic versions of Opana. Filed in response to Endo’s lawsuit, the newspaper quotes FDA as saying the company’s action was a “thinly veiled attempt to maintain its market share and block generic competition.”