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The manufacturer of the painkiller OxyContin is trying to extend its exclusive rights to the drug, which is set to go off patent in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports. Purdue Pharma LP says a reformulated version of the drug may substantially decrease abuse of the opioid.

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The Senate Finance Committee announced they have opened an inquiry that will look at financial ties between prescription painkiller manufacturers and pain experts, patient advocacy groups and bodies that set guidelines on physicians’ use of the medications.

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Scientists are working to make prescription painkillers and other commonly misused drugs “unabusable” by reformulating them, according to Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Heroin use has increased so much in Ohio that users say it is “falling out of the sky,” according to a new report by state health officials. Children as young as 13 are starting to use the drug, they said.

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Opana, a powerful opioid, is increasingly being abused in rural America, Reuters reports.

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Sales of oxycodone fell 20 percent last year in Florida, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced.

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Authorities in Iowa say heroin is making a comeback in the state. The Associated Press reports people have switched to heroin from OxyContin, which is now difficult to obtain.

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OxyContin is being smuggled into the United States from Canada, because the Canadian version of the drug is easier to abuse, according to The Globe and Mail.

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A group representing pain management physicians is advocating for legislation that would require health care professionals who prescribe opioids to receive specialized training. Several such bills are currently circulating in the House and Senate.

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Detroit has become a major source of prescription painkillers that are sold in other states, according to authorities. Pills originating in Detroit are being sold in states as far away as Alabama and Maine.

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