I have been around long enough to say that the pendulum swings back and forth regarding the feelings of “experts” on prescribing and dispensing drugs. In the 1990s, it was discovered that Americans were being undertreated for pain, something that I think was valid then and is still valid today.
The pharmaceutical companies initially produced more powerful and longer-acting opioids, morphine and oxycodone. The most successful and most abused was OxyContin, a product that has been used widely by legitimate patients and, unfortunately, illegitimately by others. Purdue Pharma went on to spend millions to not only develop an abuse-deterrent formulation but also assist law enforcement and others in reducing the abuse of its own medication.
The new, reformulated OxyContin found its way to retail pharmacies in August 2010. However, the already-stocked old drug remained on the shelves and did not become almost entirely unavailable until late 2010 or early 2011. [Read more…]