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OxyContin Maker Works to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse and Diversion


The company that manufactures OxyContin is using a variety of ways to combat the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Purdue Pharma is monitoring drug counterfeiting and Internet distribution, analyzing pharmacy robberies and thefts, tracking the drug supply chain, and using unique tablet markings, reports.

Experts from the company and the FBI came to Pennsylvania this week to train law enforcement officers on preventing and responding to prescription drug abuse and diversion.

“Our goal is to keep prescription drugs out of the hands of criminals and people who abuse and traffic them and we try to make sure that legitimate patients have access to them,” said Landon Gibbs, Director of Law Enforcement Liaison and Education at Purdue.

The company uses data from RxPATROL, an information clearinghouse for data related to pharmacy robberies, burglaries and thefts involving controlled substances. The system collects, analyzes and disseminates pharmacy theft information to law enforcement across the country.

Purdue also evaluates products seized by law enforcement, to determine if they are genuine or counterfeit. This information helps police find and prosecute drug counterfeiters, and those who divert drugs, the article notes. The company uses special markings, called indicia, to help law enforcement figure out the source country of seized drugs. Purdue also monitors the Internet for suspicious activities related to their drugs, such as fake pharmacies.

The company is tagging bottles of medications with electromagnetic chips, which allows for close tracking of the products along the distribution chain.

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