As frequent readers of this blog know, the State of Florida is ground zero in the ongoing battle to defeat prescription drug abuse and the wrongful deaths caused by pill mills that prescribe and distribute abused prescription drugs. I was very pleased to read a recent Orlando Sentinel article that described technological advances drug companies are making that should make it much more difficult for people to abuse prescription drugs. These advances were discussed at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit held last week in Orlando.
For example, Purdue Pharma has new formulations of oxycodone that defy crushing or cutting – two ways that drug abusers prepare oxycodone to be snorted or injected. Acura Pharmaceuticals adds a polymer to some of its tablets. If drug abusers attempt to dissolve an Acura tablet into liquid form, the tablet turns to a thick gel that will not pass through a hypodermic needle. Additionally, Acura is working on a formulation of some of its pills that contain a chemical that is safe to swallow, but causes a great deal of nasal irritation if it is snorted.
Other companies are working on formulations that make their pills more like the consistency of Gummy Bears so that they cannot be crushed or snorted. Still other companies are working on pills that will only have a therapeutic effect when they come into contact with digestive enzymes. In other words, they would have a placebo effect if snorted or injected.
As an Orlando accident attorney who is tired of seeing families torn apart by prescription drug abuse and pill mills, and I glad to see that the drug manufacturers are finally getting involved in this fight. However, this does not mean that we don’t need to continue to be vigilant toward the people who run these pill mills, and the greedy doctors who prescribe or provide drugs to people that they don’t need, or are likely to abuse.
If you have any questions regarding a wrongful death caused by prescription drug abuse or a pill mill, call Winter Park personal injury lawyers Kim Cullen and Bob Hemphill at 407-644-4444.