New Bill Would Mandate Tamper- Proof Pain Pills

By Valerie Tejeda 02/24/12

US Rep. William Keating wants a law to force pharma companies to make pills harder to abuse.

Painkillers are often ground up and snorted
or injected.

US Rep. William Keating (D-Quincy) hopes to tackle prescription drug addiction with a new federal bill. The new legislation he's filed would compel pharmaceutical companies to make new painkillers that are crush and tamper-resistant. Most pain meds are time-released and distributed around the body over a period of time. But many drug abusers bypass this process by crushing the pills and injecting or snorting them to get an instant hit. “We’re here today because there is an epidemic dealing with prescription abuse,” said Keating, speaking at an event at the police station in Weymouth, Massachusetts yesterday. “This is one more strong tool in the arsenal we’ll be able to use to combat this terrible epidemic.” Manufacturer Purdue Pharma reformulated OxyContin in 2010 to make it harder—but not impossible—to abuse; it turns mushy when crushed. But this doesn't apply to other drugs, like generic oxycodone, and lawmakers worry about the development of a new generation of highly potent forms of hydrocodone. “We will see the history of OxyContin repeated unless [the new drugs] are made as tamper-resistant as possible,” says State Sen. John Keenan (D-Quincy) “They will fill a void left given that OxyContin is now tamper-resistant. They’re ripe for abuse.”

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.