Wednesday, March 21, 2012

OxyNeo: Innovation In Pain Management or Patent Extender of OxyContin?

The premise is great; OxyNeo is a fairly innovative oral tablet (Concerta [methylphenidate controlled release] also utilizes this formulation) to possibly help curb abuse of one of the most highly abused prescription medications - OxyContin.

OxyNeo is not clear of problems, however, and is actually NOT desirable in a variety of patient populations.

OxyNeo tablets are formulated to make them harder to break or crush, making it difficult for people to chew OxyNeo to release all of the drug at once or crush it into a powder to snort. If one attempts to dissolve the tablets in water or alcohol, the result is a gummy gel that cannot be drawn up in a syringe.

OxyNeo and OxyContin are bioequivalent but there are slight differences:

  • OxyNeo takes slightly longer to reach peak levels, which may be perceived as being less effective.
  • have a slightly higher peak, which may ptentially lead to more side effects.
Of course, OxyNeo will not curb all abuse. Patients can still take larger amounts orally. As well, creative people are already trying to figure out how to get oxycodone more readily out of the new tablets.  Crushing the tablets followed by dissolution can release over 75% of the dose, depending on the solvent utilized.  There is no proof that OxyNeo is less subject to abuse or diversion.

Patients have to be cautioned NOT to wet or lick OxyNeo tablets prior to putting them in their mouth. There are reports of patients choking because the tablet forms a gummy gel when it is wet. Patients are to be told to swallow each tablet one at a time if they have to take multiple tablets per dose.

This poses a major risk to cancer patients, especially those in head and neck tumour groupings who have fiddiculties swallowing as it is.
One is left to ponder if this is simply a case of altering the controlled release formulation to allow a pharmaceutical company to extend the patent (although I admittely am not certain of what that date would be and company did not disclose when asked).


Pharmacist Letter 


Anonymous,  July 8, 2012 at 5:38 PM  

The patent for oxycontin expires in 2013 so yes this is their way of extending their patent!

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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