Today, Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R,C-NY) issued the following statement on the upcoming FDA ruling on allowing generic opioids, such as OxyContin and Opan, to hit the market this Tuesday:
"Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic that is killing more Americans than car accidents. The FDA has an opportunity to help crack down on this abuse before generic forms of opioids like OxContin and Opan hit the market this Tuesday. I urge them to do the right thing.
"At this time, brand-name opioids contain tamper resistant properties that prevent them from being crushed, snorted, or injected, or otherwise abused. The generics do not. With 800 million generic doses scheduled to hit the market this Tuesday, it is imperative that the FDA enforce that they contain abuse deterrent properties.
"Too many parents in my district of Staten Island and throughout the nation have had to bury their children because of an overdose. The time to act is now before these easily-abused generics hit the streets and flood our neighborhoods and schools. I look forward to the FDA's announcement and sincerely hope that the agency will do the right thing by blocking these generic medications until they can be made tamper-resistant."
The generic opioids are scheduled to hit the markets this Tuesday, yet they do not contain the tamper-resistant properties of brand-name opioids, thus making them susceptible to abuse through crushing, snorting, and injection. The FDA is scheduled to rule today or Monday on whether the generic formulas will be able to enter the market starting Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
Rep. Grimm's district of Staten Island is heavily impacted by prescription drug abuse, and he has become a leader on the issue. He is a member of the Congressional Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus and was a featured guest this month at the National Prescription Drug Summit in Orlando, Florida.