Oxycontin Patent Expiring in Canada. Now What?

In Canada, just like the United States, there is an addiction epidemic currently being fought by communities and the government. Lawsuits against drug makers are also underway. Purdue Pharma, the original manufacturer of Oxycontin, is largely blamed for the opioid epidemic. Their patent in Canada is expiring, leaving the market open to cheaper, generic versions of the drug. Why Allow More Opioids on the Market? Many people argue that there should be no more Oxycontin on the market period. The drug has caused devastation across North America. Purdue Pharma certainly pushed the drug deceptively. An opioid maker without such a checkered past would be a welcome relief to sales representatives and hospitals. But a generic version would also create more opportunities for misuse and abuse. Can a regulatory body police the actions of addictive drugs effectively? There are a lot of misgivings about the benefits of offering a generic version of Oxy. The truth of the matter is that there are thousands of people in hospital rooms that need…

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New Oxy Guidelines For Kids Alarm Lawmakers, But Drs. Say They’re Needed

The Food and Drug Administration’s decision last August to officially approve use and set guidelines for the use of Oxycontin, for certain children as young as 11 has triggered a huge debate among lawmakers, health care professionals, and parents about whether or not the drug is appropriate for treating pain in people under the age of 18. The new guidelines do not “legalize” Oxycontin, per se – prescription opiates have been prescribed for years off-label – but this is the first time there have been recommended guidelines for doctors to prescribe the powerful drug to children suffering from certain conditions that cause chronic pain. Some elected officials, as well as candidates running for office including Hillary Clinton, have echoed sentiments of addiction specialists who say the new guidelines will encourage doctors to expand access to a drug at the center of an epidemic of opiate abuse in the U.S. that was responsible for over 24,000 overdose deaths in 2013. They say health care providers need to focus on alternative…

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An Inside Look at Prescription Drug Abuse

The economic conditions over the past few years have caused a high level of financial and emotional stress for millions of people. In order to cope with this increased level of stress, many people have self medicated with alcohol and prescription drugs. Although adult alcohol abuse has been a common problem in this country for a long time, the number of people abusing prescription drugs really started increasing in the last several years. In the state of California for example, prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels. The fallout has included police raids involving hundreds of large illegal prescription drug operations. One particular raid that involved a medical clinic in west Los Angeles, resulted in the recovery of thousands of prescription pills and evidence of over twenty three million dollars of fraudulent sales. Prevention (of the Addiction) is the Best Medicine In order to deal with this epidemic, there needs to be continued police efforts in shutting down illegal drug operations, but there also needs to be strong efforts…

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Fentanyl and Suboxone – The Evolution of Drug Abuse and Addiction

A new and controversial detox drug utilized in major rehab centers today is buprenorphine which is better known as Suboxone. Touted as the "new methadone," this powerful, synthetic opiate is prescribed to patients with chronic pain and drug addiction problems. Ironically, both Suboxone and methadone are also addictive, just as heroin and other medications like Vicodin and Oxycotin are. Suboxone is expensive and extremely difficult to obtain from a physician. A person usually has to be a patient of a substance abuse specialist or a pain management doctor to get a prescription. The average cost for a month's prescription of Suboxone is approximately $200-$700. When used for detox purposes, gradual withdrawal of the drug is necessary to prevent negative side effects such as seizures, cramps, diarrhea, fever and chills, vomiting, and nausea. This sublingual narcotic was approved by the FDA in 2002. Rehab for Suboxone Addiction Because of the physically and psychological addictive properties of Suboxone, there are now detox and rehab clinics especially for opiate dependent patients who…

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New Government Plan To Tackle Rx Abuse

An innovative new scheme, spearheaded by the government, will attempt to tackle the growing number of people misusing and abusing prescription drugs like OxyNEO. The new scheme will take extra measures to ensure that all data is accurately collected by not only pharmacies, but also doctors. Under this revamp of the patient data collection system, it is thought that a more efficient approach to the digitizing of patient data to national records will greatly improve doctor/patient relations. Overdoses from prescribed medication are now the number one cause of avoidable fatalities in the United States. These numbers even exceed those from accidents such car crashes, and illegal substance abuse. Prescription drug abuse is considered especially troubling as it is also the leading form of substance abuse among teens. According to The Partnership for a Drug Free America, teens are often not concerned about the potential risks involved with consuming prescription medications on a regular basis, with as many as 2 in 5 claiming that drugs prescribed by a doctor are…

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Prescription Opioid Analgesics: The New U.S. Drug Epidemic

According to the 2007 data released by the Center for Disease Control, prescription drug overdose resulted in approximately three deaths per hour. With nearly 27,000 such deaths that year, the CDC has appropriately classified the growing trend as an epidemic. Of course, in years since 2007, the prescription medication epidemic has really hit a fever pitch. The main culprit is the prescription opioid analgesic. For centuries, opioids have been used to treat pain. Recent studies have routinely found them safe, if used according to the doctor's orders. They have been especially successful in managing the pain of cancer victims and persons suffering from degenerative diseases. However, one of the trends feeding the epidemic is the growing use of these drugs to help manage chronic pain in non-cancer patients. This has paved the way for misuse; blamed in part on the heightened state of euphoria which is a common side-effect. Furthermore, statistics indicate that starting in 2003, prescribed opioid analgesic overdose deaths exceeded both heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined!…

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Canadian Coroner Offers Words of Warning about OxyNEO

A recent article from CBC News out of Canada caught our eye and we wanted to share. A coroner has made a statement to health care professionals in Canada warning them that OxyContin replacement drugs (like OxyNEO) are still very dangerous and increased caution should be used in prescribing them. His statement comes as a result of an opiate overdose and in his words: “Transitioning from one opiate to another does carry some risks, and this death … highlighted the case for heightened vigilance,” Wilson said. Users May Subconsciously Seek Higher Doses of OxyNEO Wilson wanted to highlight the dangers that are inherent in switching drugs.  Many users who are not happy with the sensation of OxyNEO (or another OxyContin replacement like OxyIR or fentanyl) might prescribing physicians to clarify any questionable increases in dosage. Dr. Wilson encourages  pharmacists to screen prescriptions for patterns indicating increased dosages and to contact prescribing physicians to clarify any change. Dr. Wilson has also requested other coroners to be on alert for similar deaths.…

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Canadian Health Experts Skeptical about New OxyContin Formula

Nearly three months have passed since OxyContin was withdrawn from sale in Canada and replaced by a new formulation called OxyNEO. According to drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma, OxyNEO is harder to abuse because it transforms into a gel when combined with liquid and is impossible to draw into a syringe. It is also more difficult to crush and inhale. While it's still early to judge the effects of this change, it appears that many Canadian addicts are attempting to adapt. On websites and in online forums, OxyContin abusers are posting recipes for breaking down OxyNEO. Health officials are discouraging these attempts since the effects of injecting the gel-like formulation are unknown. Police in Ottawa have reported that more people are abusing fentanyl as the underground supply of OxyContin dries up. Like OxyContin and OxyNEO, Fentanyl contains oxycodone. It is prescribed to people with chronic pain or who have just undergone surgery and is about 80 times more powerful than morphine. Native Americans and Oxycontin What hasn't occurred yet is…

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New Drugs Same Old Problem – OxyNEO Zohydro Oxecta Etc

There is a lot of controversy brewing about the new drugs that are coming to market. "Tamper Proof" OxyContin An example is "harder to abuse" drugs: like OxyNEO. The question is, how "hard to abuse" are they? There are critics who point out that the drug's manufacturer Purdue Pharma doesn't make that claim in official documents. Additionally “The terms ‘tamper-proof’ and ‘break-proof’ are not claims which have been approved by Health Canada,” admits Randy Steffan who is vice president of corporate affairs at Purdue Pharma. Pfizer has joined the "profit (off of addictive drugs) party" with its Oxecta drug, which is made from the highly addictive ingredient in OxyContin called oxycodone. It is purported to be difficult to "Pure" Hydrocodone (or Vicodin) In a move that baffles the sense of corporate responsibility, there are multiple drug manufacturers planning to release a form of Vicodin that is made up of pure hydrocodone (the addictive painkiller ingredient in Vicodin). Zohydro is one name for the drug, and there are multiple entities…

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OxyContin – The Epidemic Continues

“Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels, with more than 7 million people using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons every month,”this is the statement of Timothy J. Landrum, special agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Why has this become such a problem? The poster child for this phenomenon is OxyContin.  OxyContin is a medication  prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe (and chronic pain), but pharmacologically shockingly similar to heroin. It is no wonder it's so appealing to drug abusers, especially since can be obtained by prescription and can be covered by insurance. Authorities are becoming increasingly alarmed by the huge number of people abusing and getting addicted to prescription drugs. In just the first week of October, ten people, including two doctors, were arrested in a Los Angeles OxyContin case. “[They were] drug dealers who were abusing their authority in the medical community to profit from those vulnerable to these drugs,” Timothy J. Landrum said. But this case is an indicator of the lengths people will…

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