Experts: Revamped OxyContin hasn’t curbed abuse, overdoses

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of government health advisers said Friday there’s no clear evidence that a harder-to-crush version of the painkiller OxyContin designed to discourage abuse actually resulted in fewer overdoses or deaths.

The conclusion from the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel comes more than a decade after Purdue Pharma revamped its blockbuster opioid, which has long been blamed for sparking a surge in painkiller abuse beginning in the 1990s.

In a series of non-binding votes, the FDA experts said that the updated OxyContin appeared to cut down abuse via snorting and injecting, compared to the original drug.

But panelists overwhelmingly ruled that data from Purdue and other researchers did not show that the reformulation curbed abuse overall or led to fewer overdoses.

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