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Purdue Pharma Files OK for New Painkiller

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 1:26pm
The Associated Press

The maker of OxyContin has filed for marketing approval of a powerful once-per-day painkiller that is designed to be difficult to abuse.

Purdue Pharma L.P. said last month that it had completed clinical testing of the extended-release tablet containing hydrocodone that prevent users from crushing them for snorting or injection.

Purdue launched a tamper-resistant version of OxyContin in 2010 after abuse and addiction of its original drug became widespread. The original version is no longer sold.

Also on Wednesday, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said its own abuse-resistant hydrocodone tablet met its goals in a late-stage clinical trial. Teva's drug is intended to be taken twice a day.

Purdue Pharma's announcement last month touched off a steep decline in sales of Zogenix, which recently started selling a drug called Zohydro. Zohydro is a twice-per-day hydrocodone pill that is used to treat severe pain. It does not have abuse-deterring features. Zogenix says it is working on developing an abuse-deterring form of the drug.

Medical groups, legislators and state prosecutors have criticized the FDA for approving Zohydro, saying it might lead to increased abuse.

Zogenix shares lost 18 cents, or 7 percent, to $2.40 in midday trading on Wednesday. The stock is down 43.2 percent since March 11.

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