The manufacturer and distributor of Oxycontin is seeking permission from the Food and Drug Administration to market the incredibly addictive and often taboo painkiller as suitable for use by children of at least 6 years old in an effort to maintain the corporation’s expiring patent for six more months.
The corporation reasons that it desires to assist doctors who currently write prescriptions on behalf of children for a variety of pediatric ailments and maladies.
Based on its annual revenue reports, Purdue Pharma [PPharma] earned approximately 2.8 billion dollars last year from the incredibly powerful and effective pain killer. The substance provides similar effect and feeling as heroin and morphine, both opoids as well.
According to documents submitted to the Food and Drug Administration PPharma has been coordinating and conducting clinical trials involving 154 children as young as six years old. Although pediatric physicians and experts think that the clinical trials are a good because they will inform them how the drug effects children, the public in general is concerned that the clinical trials and their eventual approval by the FDA will lead to the development of addiction problems down the road.
Also, keep in mind that PPharma has some history with criminal activity. For instance, back in 2007 PPharma was fined at least $635 million for lying to physicians about the addiction risks associated with Oxycontin. Additionally, at least three of the company’s executives were charged with a felony.
Therefore, even though PPharma stated that they are concerned with better understanding how the opoid affects the brains of children, many are concerned that PPharma may be up to their old ways and may not reveal the possibility that addiction may be of greater import regarding children so young, with incompletely developed brains.
According to statistics, approximately 0.3% of all Oxycontin prescriptions were written for patients no older than 19 years of age.
Meanwhile, others think that PPharma’s sudden interest in how Oxycontin effects the brains of children is simply pretext for ulterior motives connected to protecting its patent for Oxycontin, scheduled to expire in less than a year. In fact, the corporation has actually filed several lawsuits directed at companies that are preparing to market generic versions of Oyxycontin. Apparently, PPharma’s child clinical trials may be an alternative route to maintain its patent.
Most recently, the Food and Drug Administration has encouraged pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical trials for children and as an incentive have been offering 6 month patent extensions.
The bottom line is that the use of painkillers is a controversial subject, particularly with regard to Oxycontin and the use of the drug by children, specifically when the use of opoids in general have resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 people since 1999.
Original Article - thedaily.com/
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