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Monday, February 24, 2014

Industry Resists Tamper Resistant Drugs

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While the prescription drug epidemic continues to grow at an alarming rate, pharmaceutical companies sit back and worry about their profit margins. There is a no reason why prescription pain medication that can be tampered with is still available on the open market. Tamper resistant drugs are available yet very few patients ever see them, because of industry profit margins and federal bureaucracy, according to the Boston Globe.

As of now, the FDA permits only brand name OxyContin to be marketed as a tamper resistant medication after the makers did an expensive reformulation. This hardly deters addicts who still have access to nearly a dozen other opiate medications that are still available in non-abuse resistant forms, even if the makers have such forms available. One of those drugs is oxycodone the generic of OxyContin. It hardly makes sense that OxyContin is tamper resistant while oxycodone is not - they are the same drug.

A 20-year veteran of narcotics enforcement, Yarmouth Police detective Sergeant Charles Peterson, backs proposals in Congress mandating pharmaceutical companies to market only abuse-resistant drugs. “Do we look at public safety, or do we look at profit?” said Peterson.

He believes that any opiate addiction “could have been prevented through either regulation of the pharmaceutical industry or restructuring of the opiate-based drugs themselves. They’re not going to go anywhere that would affect their bottom line unless they get pushed that way.”

In response to tamper resistant drugs many addicts have turned to heroin as cheaper alternative that has no restrictions. It seems that big pharma is afraid that if all their drugs are tamper resistant, addicts will look elsewhere to achieve their high. A legitimate fear is testament to the snowball effect of easy access to narcotic medications, too many drugs and very little oversight.
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