The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will not grant approval to generic versions of a powerful painkiller.
Concerns that cheaper forms of OxyContin could fuel illicit use of the drug had prompted some members of Congress to urge regulators to prevent low-cost generic versions from hitting the market. In the absence of a generic version, OxyContin prices will probably remain constant, Reuters noted.
The FDA did approve the labeling for a new version of OxyContin that has been revised to make it harder to crush. OxyContin addicts prefer to crush the pills before ingesting the drug.
OxyContin is the brand name of oxycodone hydrochloride. It was approved for sale in 1995. When snorted or injected, the drug delivers a strong state of euphoria for illicit users. That high has attracted growing numbers of addicts to the drug, which can produce a range of potentially lethal medical problems, including overdoses.
In November, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said that it was investigating FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS) over the shipping of prescription painkillers — including oxycodone — by illegal online pharmacies.