In a big victory for campaigners against prescription drug abuse—as well as for OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma—the FDA has blocked generic drugmakers from making their own versions of the powerful painkiller. The ruling came on the day that Purdue's patent on the old, crushable, and widely abused version of the drug was set to expire, Courier-Journal reports.
"To have allowed generic, crushable OxyContin on the market would have been a serious step backwards in our efforts against opiate painkiller abuse," said the attorney general of Kentucky, where prescription drug abuse kills almost a thousand people per year. Purdue introduced a new crush-resistant version of the drug, which delivers a time-released dose of the narcotic oxycodene in 2010, the New York Times reports. The patent on that version won't expire until 2025.