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OxyContin 38 articles

Small town mayor sues OxyContin maker over costs of addiction

The mayor of a small town north of Seattle, Washington, is taking the fight against prescription drug abuse to a new level. Mayor Ray Stephanson is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the powerful opioid painkiller OxyContin, alleging the drugmaker knew its opioid was being sold on the black market in his town of Everett. Since Purdue allowed this illegal activity to continue, the drug company should pay for damages, he alleges. Stephanson says his working class community of 108,000 people has seen a spike in drug-related deaths and street crimes. As a result, Everett has had to step up police ... Read More

Deadly combination of opioids and anti-anxiety drugs prematurely killing more white women

Opioid painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs – which are often prescribed in tandem – are prematurely killing a disproportionate number of white women, according to a Washington Post analysis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just required black box warnings be placed on the safety labels of opioids and anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos,” explaining that taking the two drugs together was potentially lethal. The warning affected nearly 400 products in total. The Washington Post analysis involved middle-aged participants from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that white women prescribed the powerful painkillers were five times more likely to also be ... Read More

NY county takes aim at manufacturers of opioid painkillers

Faced with a growing number of opioid overdoses, Suffolk County in New York took the fight straight to the manufacturers of the drugs, filing lawsuits against 11 pharmaceutical companies including the makers of OxyContin and Percoset. The lawsuits claim the companies mislead the public and doctors about just how addictive the powerful prescription painkillers are. There have been more than 200 opioid overdose deaths and more than 1,000 non-fatal opioid overdoses in Suffock County this year, according to the county’s police commissioner Tim Sini. The lawsuits were filed against some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Purdue ... Read More

FDA places new warnings on opioid painkillers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing new warnings about serious health risks and potentially harmful drug interactions with all opioid painkillers. The agency is also requiring manufacturers of these drugs to update their safety labels to include these new warnings. Opioids are a class of powerful narcotic pain medications that are used to treat moderate to severe pain that does not respond well to other pain medications. These drugs include methadone, fentanyl, Demerol, Oxycontin, codeine, and morphine. These drugs can help manage pain when other treatments fail to work, but they carry serious risks including misuse and abuse, ... Read More

CDC recommends doctors consider alternatives to opioids for chronic pain

The number of people dying from overdoses of prescription painkillers has skyrocketed in recent years, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue new guidelines that urge doctors to consider alternatives to opioids when treating adults with chronic pain. Deaths from opioids, which include OxyContin and Vicodin, have more than quadrupled since 1999. More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses. “We must act now,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, who put the burden on prescribing physicians. “Overprescribing opioids – largely for chronic pain – is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic.” ... Read More

FDA halts review of new opioid without explanation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week cut short its review of the novel new opioid Xtampza, and drug maker Collegium Pharmaceuticals is keeping mum about why the agency truncated the process or when the FDA said it would resume the review. The long-acting painkiller is intended to be taken after a meal for maximum effect. An advisory panel for the FDA unanimously voted last month to recommend approval of the drug despite an FDA staffer’s concern that if the drug is taken without food, it doesn’t offer sufficient relief, which could lead to overdosing. Misuse and abuse of ... Read More

FDA approves powerful OxyContin for pediatric patients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved that children as young as 11 with certain medical conditions can be prescribed the powerful and addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin. Purdue Pharma, makers of OxyContin, tested the drug in children ages 11 to 16 who needed prolonged opioid treatment such as after a significant trauma or following major surgeries including those of the spine or to correct certain birth defects. The research also helped identify proper dosing for pediatric patients. The FDA granted the new indication for the drug based on this information, said Dr. Sharon Hertz, director of new anesthesia, ... Read More

Anti-addiction groups call for FDA chief’s resignation amid prescription drug abuse epidemic

Frustrated by the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of potent opioid medications during a nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse, anti-addiction activists are calling for the resignation of the agency’s top official. More than a dozen groups have banded together and are appealing to the Obama administration to replace FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who has headed up the agency since 2009. Activists have been vocal about their disappointment with the agency for its approval of Zohydro, the only single-ingredient hydrocodone on the market. Hydrocodone is in a class of narcotics known as opioids, which are known for their euphoric effects. ... Read More

DEA introduces new drug take-back program to combat prescription drug abuse

A new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rule aims to combat a growing epidemic of prescription drug addiction and abuse by authorizing pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and others to serve as drop-off sites for unused prescription medications. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new regulation will help save lives and protect families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse. In 2011, unintentional prescription drug overdoses accounted for more than half of the 41,300 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Prescription opioids, which are increasingly prescribed for pain relief, are particularly addictive and likely to be abused. Opioid pain killer overdose caused ... Read More

City of Chicago files lawsuit accusing drug companies of deceptively marketing addictive painkillers

In the latest battle against prescription drug abuse, the City of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against five drug companies alleging they engaged in deceptive marketing practices for their highly addictive painkillers to reel in extra profit. The lawsuit, filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court, claims the pharmaceutical companies pushed long-term use of their powerful opioids to treat non-cancer pain, which was false, misleading and “unsupported by science.” The lawsuit comes just one month after two California counties filed a similar lawsuit against the same five drug companies – Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma, Actavis, Endo ... Read More