Today, Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do more to combat prescription drug abuse. In particular, Rogers pressed the FDA to act swiftly in addressing an impending deadline with potentially dangerous consequences – the expiration of patents on the original formulations of highly addictive prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Opana ER that lack tamper-resistant properties. If the FDA fails to act by January 1, many fear that the marketplace could be flooded with cheap, generic crushable prescription pills ripe for abuse and misuse.
“After OxyContin came on the market fifteen years ago, a wave of overdose deaths devastated entire towns in my region of Appalachian Kentucky before spreading like wildfire to big cities and suburban communities across the country,” said Rogers, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. “By crushing these pain pills, abusers can experience a euphoric – but oftentimes deadly – high. But today, the FDA has an opportunity keep these crushable pills out of our children’s reach. A number of prescription medicines already on the market use tamper-resistant technologies that can cut back on abuse. No generic pill should come to market without these life-saving features.”
Rogers is co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, which aims to raise awareness of abuse and to work toward innovative and effective policy solutions, incorporating treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research. Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit http://halrogers.house.gov/ or follow Rogers on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/RepHalRogers or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/CongressmanHalRogers.###