OxyContin

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Major Insurer Takes Big Step on OxyContin

Cigna will stop covering most prescriptions

(Newser) - A big change for a huge insurance company: Starting Jan. 1, Cigna will stop covering most OxyContin prescriptions in its group plans. OxyContin, an opioid painkiller, is an extended-release version of oxycodone; extended-release versions contain a higher dose of the active ingredients, which can make them ripe for abuse as... More »

Maker of OxyContin Sued by Drug-Addled City

Complaint filed by Everett, Wash., says Purdue Pharma valued profits over people

(Newser) - What does a city do when its citizens are wracked with opioid addiction? Sue the maker of one of the most well-known brands is the route Everett is taking, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Washington city of 100,000 north of Seattle filed a complaint Thursday against Purdue Pharma,... More »

OxyContin's Biggest Claim Can Result in 'Hell' for Users

LA Times: It often wears off before 12 hours, creating big problems

(Newser) - One of the huge selling points of OxyContin is that it boasts of keeping users free of pain for 12 hours, thus allowing them to sleep through the night. But an investigation by the Los Angeles Times finds that the claim doesn't hold true for many patients, and when... More »

Addicts Find Ways Around 'Abuse-Deterrent' OxyContin

People find new ways to dissolve the pills—or turn to heroin, study says

(Newser) - When an "abuse-deterrent" version of OxyContin was introduced in 2010, the intent was clear: "to make OxyContin more difficult to solubilize or crush, thus discouraging abuse through injection and inhalation," the New England Journal of Medicine noted in 2012. Made with special binders, the revamped pills would... More »

California Sues: Big Pharma Created Addicts With Lies

Lawsuit alleges slick marketing got people hooked on opioid painkillers

(Newser) - The makers of strong painkillers like OxyContin have created a "population of addicts" with a "campaign of deception" about the risks the drugs carry, two California counties charge in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the whole state. Orange and Santa Clara counties are suing five large makers... More »

Rob Ford Drove Drunk Through School Zones, Partied With Hookers

One begins to wonder how he had time to govern

(Newser) - For your average big city mayor, admitting that you bought illegal drugs while in office would be the most damaging thing to happen in a day—but Rob Ford 's not your average mayor . Soon after a press conference in which the crack-smoking, binge-drinking Toronto mayor claimed his closet... More »

World's Most Popular Drug: Pot

But painkillers behind most deaths

(Newser) - Researchers have, for the first time, conducted a worldwide survey on illegal drug use, and they learned that the most popular one on the planet is marijuana. But the drugs that are killing the most people are strong painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine among them, the AP reports, as per... More »

Oxy Maker Won't Share List of Suspicious Doctors

Purdue Pharma has IDed 1,800 suspect doctors, but only told authorities about 154

(Newser) - The maker of OxyContin has a database of doctors it suspects may be prescribing its pills to addicts and dealers—but it isn't sharing that info with cops, reports the LA Times . Purdue Pharma says it has alerted authorities to 154 suspicious prescribers, but that's only about 8%... More »

Walgreens Slapped With Record $80M Oxy Fine

One small-town pharmacy was ordering 2.2M pills a year

(Newser) - Walgreens made history yesterday ... by being ordered to pay the largest fine in the history of the US Controlled Substances Act. The drugstore empire was slugged for $80 million for "an unprecedented number" of violations in its sale of oxycodone and other controlled substances, following a probe by the... More »

FDA Blocks Generic OxyContin

Move prevents crushable form returning to market

(Newser) - 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... More »

Painkiller Deaths Rise Again in US

Increase defies push to curb abuse of drugs such as Vicodin, OxyContin

(Newser) - The number of deaths attributed to abuse of prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin rose again in the latest federal stats, reports the Los Angeles Times . Those types of drugs are largely responsible for a 3% increase in overall drug fatalities in 2010, say CDC researchers, and preliminary numbers... More »

Forget OxyContin: Opana Now Most-Abused Painkiller

But new formula will cause addicts to seek another drug

(Newser) - The powerful painkiller Opana has replaced OxyContin as the drug of choice for addicts and pharmacy robbers. Users switched to Opana—the trade name for oxymorphone—after OxyContin's maker reformulated its pills to make them harder to snort, chew, or inject for a quick high. But Opana's makers... More »

Welcome to 'Ground Zero' for America's Pill Poppers

Kermit, West Virginia, home to die-hard addicts

(Newser) - A tiny coal-mining town of barely 300 people and no supermarket is home to one booming business: pharmacies. In Kermit, West Virginia, two Sav-Rites alone moved 3.2 million doses of hydrocodone in 2006—a tad more than the 97,000 doses the average pharmacy sells in a year, reports... More »

Painkiller Sales Exploding in New Parts of US

Pharmacies sold equivalent of 69 tons of pure oxycodone in 2010

(Newser) - Prescription painkiller addiction is a problem that's only getting uglier, reports the AP after analyzing a slew of DEA and pharmaceutical figures. The report focuses on sales of America's leading two prescription painkillers: oxycodone (the key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet, and Percodan) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab).... More »

Drug Deaths Soar Past Traffic Fatalities

Blame prescription drugs for drug-related deaths doubling over decade

(Newser) - For the first time since the government started tracking drug-related deaths in 1979, narcotics have topped traffic fatalities—37,485 for drugs vs. 36,284 for accidents in 2009 (the most recent year available), reports the LA Times . But the big culprit isn't street drugs: it's prescription pills... More »

Rocker Busted for Walgreens Robbery...

Right before his band opened for Soundgarden

(Newser) - Coheed and Cambria was about to open for Soundgarden, but it looks like bassist Mike Todd had things other than soundcheck on his mind. He allegedly robbed a Massachusetts pharmacy just hours before yesterday's performance. Police say Todd entered a Walgreens around 1pm, told an employee he had a... More »

New OxyContin Formula Foils Drug Abusers

...Who then just switch to similar narcotics, police say

(Newser) - OxyContin abuse is becoming a thing of the past—sort of. Ever since Purdue Pharma reformulated its hit narcotic pills to make them harder to snort, chew, or inject, addicts have been looking elsewhere for their high, the New York Times reports. “It’s too much work,” says... More »

Ohio County Drowning in Waves of Oxy

Overdoses now leading cause of accidental death in Scioto County

(Newser) - Scioto County sits in the southern tip of Ohio, an unremarkable piece of Appalachia save for the deadly tidal wave of prescription drugs washing over its population. Overdoses have quadrupled over the past decade, reports the New York Times, and are now the leading cause of accidental death, ahead of... More »

8M New Yorkers, 1M Oxycodone Prescriptions

Staten Island leads the way

(Newser) - New York City's special narcotics prosecutor unveiled some eye-popping numbers about prescription drugs in the Big Apple, according to the Wall Street Journal :
  • One million prescriptions for the pain reliever oxycodone—the generic name for Oxycontin—were filled in 2010. That's enough for 1 in 8 residents of the five
... More »

NYC Busts Drug-Dealing Ice Cream Truck

Oxycodone sellers licked

(Newser) - In New York City's Staten Island, oxycodone addicts were more enthusiastic than little kids about the arrival of the Lickety Split ice cream truck: Some 31 people have been indicted for running a drug ring that investigators say used the ice cream truck to sell the addictive prescription painkiller—and... More »

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