Apr 16 2013
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this morning, urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action on generic prescription painkillers without abuse-deterrent formulations as the patent on the original, crushable Oxycontin expires today.
For months, Rogers and other members of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse have pushed the FDA to keep crushable, generic painkillers from being manufactured in the United States. In recent years, several drug-makers replaced their crushable formulations with new pills that are harder to crush for illicit use. Many, including 48 state Attorneys General, fear generic introduction of these more easily abused pills will lead to a new wave of abuse and overdose deaths in our country, proliferating an epidemic that already takes more American lives than car crashes.
Yesterday, Rogers joined a bipartisan group of members in introducing H.Res. 161, expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that the FDA should require generic versions of abuse-deterrent painkillers to use comparable abuse-deterrent features.Congressman Rogers made the following remarks on the floor:
"Mister Speaker, today, April 16, 2013, marks a critical turning point in our country’s battle against prescription drug abuse - an epidemic which takes more American lives than car crashes.
"Unless the Food and Drug Administration takes action today, generic drug-makers will be free to dump cheap painkillers, lacking abuse deterrence, back into U.S. markets – pills that can be easily crushed and which are to blame for tens of thousands of emergency room visits and accidental overdoses in the last decade.
"Two weeks ago at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, FDA Commissioner Peggy Hamburg acknowledged the many “individuals and their families whose lives have been shattered by prescription opioid abuse, misuse, and addiction.” She also affirmed that FDA has the authority to keep these crushable pills off the market when abuse-deterrent technologies are available. It is time to execute that authority, FDA - on behalf of the thousands of families in my region and our nation, keep crushable pills off our streets and out of our children’s hands. Thank you and I yield back."