LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 26, 2012) – With generic versions of the two most commonly-abused painkillers, Opana and OxyContin, coming on the market next year, police, hospitals and health clinics in Kentucky have voiced concern that “these generic crushable drugs lack the tamper-resistant gel coating of the brand-name drugs,” according to a news release from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“Without this technology, addicts crush the pills in order to achieve an immediate heroin-like high from sniffing or injecting the painkillers,” the release said. “If these generics come to market without the tamper-resistant coating, much of the work that law enforcement and health care providers have done to stem the tide of pain pill abuse in Kentucky will be lost.”
McConnell’s news release said he has asked the Food and Drug Administration to keep the crushable drugs off the market “until a workable solution can be found.” McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, met Wednesday with the Department for Health and Human Services’ acting general counsel, Bill Schultz, to discuss the issue.
Kentucky Health News is a service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.