FDA Cracks Down on Oxycodone

In an effort to battle the epidemic of prescription drug abuse across the nation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an investigation of companies that sell painkillers that have not been approved by the agency, including versions of oxycodone.

The FDA will begin an enforcement effort against companies that sell different versions of oxycodone that have not been subjected to review by the agency.

Oxycodone is a painkiller that is sold legally by companies such as Purdue Pharma, which markets the name brand pill OxyContin. These drugs are reviewed by the FDA and tested for effectiveness and safety. However, oxycodone is widely abused, and has the potential for addiction and death when misused.

For years, companies have sold pills similar to oxycodone, which have not been reviewed by the FDA.

Now the FDA has published a notice in the Federal Register, stating that companies selling versions of oxycodone that have not been approved have 45 days to cease operations. Companies out of compliance after that time face court proceedings and seizure of their product.

Opioid painkillers like oxycodone are some of the most-abused drugs in the United States, with Florida being the epicenter of the current crisis. At one time, Florida “pill mills” were said to be supplying 85% of the nation’s oxycodone. The state has set up a prescription drug tracking database to combat abuse.

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