Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills asks FDA to make generic pain pills harder to abuse

March 11, 2013

Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills asks FDA to make generic pain pills harder to abuse 48 AGs call for more tamper and abuse resistant prescription drugs AUGUSTA, Me: Generic versions of popular pain relievers must be made harder to abuse, Attorney General Janet T. Mills and 47 other state and territorial attorneys general told federal officials in a letter sent today by the National Association of Attorneys General. The letter encourages the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to adopt standards requiring manufacturers and marketers of generic prescription painkillers to develop tamper- and abuse-resistant versions of their products.
?We are asking the FDA to require generic producers to take the same steps that producers of brand-name opioid pain killers have taken to make it harder to use their products illegally,? said Attorney General Mills. ?Misuse and abuse of pain pills is a terrible problem in Maine. It is the number-one cause of crimes. We need to take comprehensive action to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse, and this action by the FDA would be an important step in that direction.? Prescription drug abuse is on the rise across the country and Maine has one of the highest per captia rates of abuse in the nation. Prescription pain relievers are among the most commonly abused drugs. Manufacturers of name-brand versions of painkillers such as OxyContin have taken steps to make it more difficult to abuse their drugs, for example, by making it harder to crush pills to inject or snort the drug.
?In our states, nonmedical users are shifting away from the new tamper-resistant formulations to non-tamper-resistant formulations of other opioids as well as to illegal drugs. There is great concern in our law enforcement community that many non-tamper-resistant products are available for abuse when only a few products have been formulated with tamper-resistant features,? the attorneys general wrote in their letter to the FDA. When abused or used incorrectly prescription drugs can be deadly. Fatal drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death due to unintentional injury in the United States, exceeding motor vehicle deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Attorneys general from the following states and territories signed onto the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.


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