December 24, 2013
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is once again urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require manufacturers of generic prescription pain relievers to develop tamper-resistant versions of their products.
Attorney General DeWine joined 41 other state and territorial attorneys general today in sending a second letter to the FDA requesting the requirement. Attorney General DeWine was one of 48 attorneys general who signed a similar letter sent to the FDA in March.
“Adding new physical and chemical features to prescription opioids can deter abuse and reduce misuse and accidental death,” said Attorney General DeWine. “By making the generic versions of prescription pain pills harder to abuse, we can prevent addiction and save lives.”
In their letter, the attorneys general thanked the FDA for their recent efforts to require abuse-deterrent formulations for branded opioid drugs. However, they also urged the FDA to go even further by ensuring that generic opioids, like their branded counterparts, have abuse-deterrent properties.
According to the FDA, “Abuse-deterrent formulations target the known or expected routes of abuse, such as crushing in order to snort or dissolving in order to inject, for the specific opioid drug substance in that formulation.”
“Accordingly, the undersigned State Attorneys General respectfully request that the FDA provide clear and fair regulatory standards for the incorporation of abuse-deterrent technologies into generic opioids,” reads the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) letter.
Attorneys general across the country remain in the national forefront in combating prescription abuse by sponsoring prescription drug-take back efforts, spearheading legislative and law enforcement initiatives in their respective jurisdictions, and mandating state level prescription drug monitoring programs.
In addition to Attorney General DeWine, attorneys general from the following states/territories signed the NAAG letter: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Upon taking office in 2011, Attorney General DeWine made the fight against prescription drug abuse a priority. In that time, those with the Attorney General’s Office have been involved in the permanent license revocation of more than two dozen doctors and pharmacists who improperly prescribed prescription medication and the conviction of 15 doctors, pharmacists, traffickers and associates.
Attorney General DeWine also partnered with the Ohio Department of Health and the Drug Free Action Alliance to provide free prescription drug collection bins to law enforcement agencies across the state as part of their newly established Ohio Prescription Drug Drop Box Program.
A list of prescription drug drop box locations is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Copies of today’s letter, along with the letter sent in March and the FDA’s response to the March letter are also available at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.