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More than a dozen drug companies are working on abuse-resistant painkillers, in the wake of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision last month not to approve any generic versions of the original form of OxyContin.

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Some pain doctors say they are concerned the Food and Drug Administration’s decision earlier this week not to approve generic versions of the original version of OxyContin could lead to less effective drugs that are potentially addictive, NPR reports.

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The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday it will not approve any generic versions of the original form of OxyContin. The move is aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse, Reuters reports.

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As prescription painkillers become more difficult to obtain and abuse, a growing number of people addicted to these drugs are switching to heroin, USA Today reports. The trend is increasingly being seen in the suburbs.

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Generic drug makers are waiting for the Food and Drug Administration to decide whether they must make tamper-resistant forms of OxyContin, or if they can produce the original version, The Wall Street Journal reports. OxyContin’s first patent expires Tuesday.

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The abuse of prescription drugs is well documented, but if we are to expand our fight against prescription drug abuse and want the support of policy makers, it is incumbent upon us to find new sources of revenue that will pay for the changes that must be made, says Andrew Kessler, substance abuse and mental health specialist.

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The New York Police Department has announced it will put decoy pill bottles with tracking devices on pharmacy shelves, in an effort to track stolen painkillers.

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With the patent for the original version of OxyContin set to expire in April, experts in Kentucky and around the country are concerned that cheaper generic versions of the drug will become available, which will be easier to abuse.

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Drug companies that manufacture the painkillers OxyContin and Opana are trying to block generic drug makers’ efforts to produce cheaper versions of the drugs. They argue these newer drugs will not have the tamper-resistant designs used in making the brand-name pills, according to The New York Times.

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The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has alerted U.S. law enforcement to prepare for a potential influx of painkillers from Canada, which has given approval to six generic drug companies to manufacture oxycodone products.

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