Updated: 07/23/2014 6:14 PM
Created: 07/23/2014 6:13 PM WDIO.com
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new combination pain pill from the maker of OxyContin that is designed to discourage abuse by painkiller addicts.
Purdue Pharma's new drug Targiniq ER is an extended release tablet that combines oxycodone - the active ingredient in OxyContin - with the drug naloxone. FDA regulators approved the drug for daily, round-the-clock pain that does not respond to other medications.
If abusers crush the tablets for snorting or injecting naloxone blocks the euphoric effects of oxycodone, making the drug more difficult to abuse. Naloxone is currently used to reverse the overdose effects of opioids, highly addictive painkilling drugs including morphine, methadone, codeine and others.
The FDA notes that Targiniq can still be abused by simply swallowing the tablets, the most frequent method of painkiller abuse.
The FDA has been under intense public pressure to combat the national epidemic of prescription opioid abuse. Deaths linked to addictive medications like OxyContin and Vicodin have quadrupled since 1990 to an estimated 16,500 in 2010, the most recent year for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports figures.
Doctors prescribe opioids for a wide range of ailments, from post-surgical pain to arthritis and migraines.
Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue has often been cited by public health advocates as a key contributor to the overprescribing of opioids. In 2007, Purdue Pharma and three of its executives paid $634 million and pleaded guilty to charges of misleading the public about the safety and addictiveness of OxyContin.
Since then the company introduced a harder-to-abuse version of OxyContin that is designed to resist crushing, chewing and dissolving.
"The FDA is committed to combatting the misuse and abuse of all opioids, and the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is needed in order to help address the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the U.S.," said FDA's Dr. Sharon Hertz.
The FDA is requiring Purdue to conduct long-term follow-up studies tracking rates of abuse, addiction, overdose and death with Targiniq. Those requirements are standard for all extended release opioid drugs approved in the U.S.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Police Replace Two Children's Toys Lost in Fire
The Easter Sunday blaze that destroyed the Applewood Knoll apartments in Duluth was also the last time two children saw the toys the treasured, so on Saturday morning, members of the Duluth Police Department took those kids on a shopping trip, hoping the gesture would help them move forward....
Twin Ports Food Activists Host Rally Against Monsanto
Support for local and healthy foods was the focus of a rally on Saturday in the Twin Ports. The event on the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street featured local farmers showcasing their plants and produce and talking to the public about sustainable agriculture...
Dayton Vetoes Agriculture-Environment and Jobs-Energy Bills
Gov, Mark Dayton vetoed two major budget bills ahead of a Saturday night deadline for final action on bills that passed before the end of the legislative session, adding to the workload that lawmakers will face in an upcoming special session.
Northlanders Gear Up for Memorial Day Weekend Travel
Campers and boats filled Highway 61 Friday afternoon enroute to Memorial Daynweekend destinations up the North Shore. Trip Adviser said Friday is the busiest day for travel over the holiday weekend where 41 percent of Americans said they had trips planned....
Flags and Crosses for Veterans at Sunrise Memorial Park
The Boy Scouts putting out flags on veterans graves on Friday had a new holder to put at each spot. Garett Paulus built 400 wooden crosses, which have a place to hold the flag.