Rep. Grimm Urges FDA to Rule against Allowing Generic OxyContin to Hit the Market Tuesday without Abuse-Deterrent Properties

Apr 12, 2013 Issues: Health

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-NY) issued the following statement on the upcoming FDA ruling on allowing generic opioids, such as OxyContin and Opan, to hit the market this Tuesday:

“Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic that is killing more Americans than car accidents. The FDA has an opportunity to help crack down on this abuse before generic forms of opioids like OxContin and Opan hit the market this Tuesday.  I urge them to do the right thing.

“At this time, brand-name opioids contain tamper resistant properties that prevent them from being crushed, snorted, or injected, or otherwise abused. The generics do not. With 800 million generic doses scheduled to hit the market this Tuesday, it is imperative that the FDA enforce that they contain abuse deterrent properties.

“Too many parents in my district of Staten Island and throughout the nation have had to bury their children because of an overdose.  The time to act is now before these easily-abused generics hit the streets and flood our neighborhoods and schools. I look forward to the FDA’s announcement and sincerely hope that the agency will do the right thing by blocking these generic medications until they can be made tamper-resistant.” 

The generic opioids are scheduled to hit the markets this Tuesday, yet they do not contain the tamper-resistant properties of brand-name opioids, thus making them susceptible to abuse through crushing, snorting, and injection. The FDA is scheduled to rule today or Monday on whether the generic formulas will be able to enter the market starting Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

Rep. Grimm’s district of Staten Island is heavily impacted by prescription drug abuse, and he has become a leader on the issue. He is a member of the Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus and was a featured guest this month at the National Prescription Drug Summit in Orlando, Florida.

 

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Prescription Drug Abuse Facts (NYC/Local):

  • From 2005-2010 in NYC, prescription opioid overdoses increased 30 percent.
  • From 2005-2010 in Staten Island, prescription drug overdoses have increased 180% – the highest in NYC.
  • Statistically, one Staten Islander dies from a prescription drug overdose every 12 days, which translates to 8.4 deaths per 100,000 residents.  In Brooklyn, there are 2.4 deaths per 100,000.
  • Prescription drug overdoses now outnumber traffic accidents and murder as a cause of accidental deaths in Staten Island.

Prescription Drug Abuse Facts (National):

  • Prescription drug overdoses now outnumber traffic accidents in the number of accidental deaths in the United States. 
  • In 2010, 12 million people reported using prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons. Of that, 2 million reported using for the first time within the last year – nearly 5,500 a day.
  • 3/4 of non-medical prescription painkiller users in 2010 received the drugs from a friend or relative—either for free, through a purchase, or via stealing the drugs.
  • In 2010, ER visits from the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals occurred at a rate higher than illicit drugs
  • Nearly 3/4 prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers.
  • The U.S. consumes 99% of the world's hydrocodone and 83% of its oxycodone, according to a 2008 study by the International Narcotics Control Board.