The original manufacturer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, created a reformulation in 2010 that the FDA is now approving as the only marketable version of the drug.  The patent for the original formula held by Purdue expires this year, leading other drug companies to hope they could create generic versions of the original OxyContin formula.  The FDA’s new announcement, however, will prevent any use of the original formula to create similar pain killer medication.  The new formulation that the FDA is exclusively approving for OxyContin distribution is supposed to be less likely to lead to abuse.  Purdue created the “abuse-resistant” OxyContin in response to the myriad abuse and addiction problems associated with the original drug.  The new drug is not easily crushed, chewed, or dissolved in water so that patients cannot create versions of the drug that are easily ingested and that lead to a more intense high.  However, even though the FDA has approved the new formula as safer, it is still subject to abuse as it is a strong pain medication.  Ironically, the new formula may also lead patients to turn to other types of hard drugs such as heroin since they cannot break down the new OxyContin into a form that they can ingest or inject for a quick high.  Only time will tell whether the new formula will be successful, and safe, on the market.

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