The new version of the pill makes is more difficult to broken, crushed, chewed or dissolved by addicts wanting a heroin-like high from the drug.
Rather than the former pills (pictured above) the new OxyContin is a hard gelatin capsule, designed to release the drug into the system over a 24-hour period. It is also designed to make it more difficult to be manipulated so that it can be snorted or injected by addicts.
No Evidence New OxyContin Will Work
But is it? The FDA statement released with the announcement of the approval of the new OxyContin said "there is no evidence that the reformulation of OxyContin is less subject to misuse, abuse, diversion, overdose or addiction."
There is simply no scientific evidence that the new version will reduce the drug's abuse, a growing substance abuse problem in the United States.
Therefore, FDA required the manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, to conduct research to determine if the new capsules actually reduce abuse of the drug and if so, how it does so.
In 2007, three Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty to misleading the public about the safety of OxyContin. The company was fined $634.5 million, one of the largest drug-company penalties ever.
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