Changes in Nonmedical Use of OxyContin After Reformulation With Abuse Deterrent Properties Interview with:
Angela DeVeaugh-Geiss, PhD
Director, Epidemiology, Purdue Pharma L.P. What is the background for this study?

Response: Due to widespread abuse, including abuse via non-oral routes (eg, snorting, injecting), OxyContin was reformulated with abuse deterrent properties in August 2010.

In this study we explored changes in nonmedical use of OxyContin after the reformulation using public use data files from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). NSDUH has included questions about nonmedical use of OxyContin (including pill images) since 2004.

Nonmedical use is defined as use without a prescription or use that occurred simply for the experience or feeling the drug caused. What are the main findings?

Response: This study found that decreases in reported nonmedical use of OxyContin occurred generally for both past year initiation and past month use with population-adjusted rates and rates adjusted for OxyContin prescriptions. When adjusting for all extended-release (ER) oxycodone prescriptions there was no clear reduction in nonmedical use of OxyContin. Results were similar whether we considered a one-year (2009) or two-year (2008-2009) pre-reformulation baseline period. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: In this nationally representative survey, there were decreases in reported nonmedical use of OxyContin using both population rates and rates adjusted for OxyContin prescriptions. These results are consistent with findings from other published studies in both the United States and Australia. There were no clear reduction in rates of nonmedical use adjusting for all ER oxycodone prescriptions; however, the estimate of nonmedical use of OxyContin could be biased when adjusting for the number of all ER oxycodone prescriptions due to variability in the availability of generic ER oxycodone, with generics contributing predominantly in the pre-reformulation baseline period. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: To fully understand the impact of reformulated OxyContin, studies should cover a range of populations (including pain patients and substance abusers) and outcomes (eg, abuse, misuse, addiction, overdose, and death). No one study can address all populations and outcomes, and any research study has limitations, therefore, the totality of evidence from complementary studies will be more scientifically robust than individual studies alone. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: NSDUH, like any study, has strengths and limitations. NSDUH provides a national estimate of nonmedical use of OxyContin, however, because of the nonspecific outcome (nonmedical use encompasses both intentional abuse and therapeutic misuse) and the broad population (covering a spectrum of nonmedical use, from experienced abusers, who may be more likely to abuse opioids via non-oral routes, to casual abusers, such as those experimenting or using a drug only once or twice), results may be less sensitive to detect changes in OxyContin, which was reformulated in August 2010 to include a physicochemical barrier to routes that require tampering. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: 10th Annual PAINWeek® Conference  abstract, “Changes in Nonmedical Use of OxyContin After Reformulation With Abuse Deterrent Properties (Encore)”

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on September 21, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD