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The Canadian government has given approval to six generic drug companies to manufacture oxycodone products. The Canadian health minister had been under pressure to forbid the generic version of OxyContin because of concerns about widespread abuse of the painkiller.

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Vermont officials report an increase in heroin use, as OxyContin abuse decreases, according to the Associated Press.

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Injecting the painkiller Opana ER can lead to a serious blood disorder that can result in kidney failure or death, the Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday.

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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, phillyBurbs.com reports.

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Simply by initiating a pre-surgical checklist comprised of the agreed-upon procedural steps, even very experienced surgical teams showed remarkable reductions in errors, untoward events, complications and deaths, says Thomas McLellan, PhD, CEO of the Treatment Research Institute.

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A group of doctors and public health experts has asked the Food and Drug Administration to change prescription guidelines for opioids, to prevent prescription drug abuse, according to Reuters.

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A bill to be introduced Thursday in the U.S. House would require most painkillers to have safeguards to prevent abuse, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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A new study finds that OxyContin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin, the researchers report in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

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The rise in popularity of the painkiller Opana illustrates the challenges facing law enforcement authorities, addiction specialists and pharmaceutical companies trying to tackle prescription drug abuse, USA Today reports.

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The maker of OxyContin has announced it will study the safety of the painkiller in children, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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