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OxyContin is one of the best-selling brand-name painkillers in the world, it also however, has a widespread problem of abuse and misuse. OxyContin is one of the narcotic analgesic medications (painkillers) prescribed for many painful conditions, including many types of arthritis.
A mere five years since it became FDA-approved, the drug is making headlines. News reports have brought attention to the problems of OxyContin abuse. The latest twist to the saga has the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) asking Purdue Pharma L.P. (the makers of the drug) to:
Such recommendations can be made by the DEA and FDA but Purdue Pharma cannot be forced to comply.
Because of widespread OxyContin abuse and misuse problems, people who are legally prescribed the drug or other narcotic pain relievers to treat severe arthritis pain and other legitimate conditions, often are unfairly accused of being addicted to the pain medications and other pain killer abuse or misuse.
Misconceptions about proper arthritis pain management sometimes leads to under-utilization of available pain medications.
Pharmacy diversion: Pharmacy workers take the drug directly from the shelf. People create fraudulent prescriptions.
Doctor shopping: People with or without true illness visit several doctors, perhaps even in several states to obtain a large quantity of the drug.
Improper prescribing practices: Dishonest doctors write improper prescriptions for money or favors.
Street value: On the street, the drug sells for 50 cents to over a dollar per milligram. Some pharmacies have stopped selling the drug and posted signs indicating they do not carry the drug, in an effort to thwart robberies and criminal activity brought on by OxyContin abuse.
Purdue Pharma claims it is committed to finding solutions to OxyContin abuse problems. In the longterm, millions of dollars are being spent on research and development of new pain medications, less likely to have problems. However, years of research and the FDA approval process are hurdles which must be cleared before anything newly-developed can be marketed. Clearly, there is no immediate solution to the problems. That's why the DEA has stepped in with a sense of urgency, offering its proposals as deterrents to OxyContin abuse.
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