Get the Facts

Thursday, May 5, 2016

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON OXYCONTIN’S FDA-APPROVED LABEL

Purdue Pharma rejects the claims made by The Los Angeles Times (LAT) in “OxyContin’s 12-Hour Problem.” In an attempt to resurrect a long-discredited theory, the paper ignores the clinical and regulatory data that directly contradicts their story.

Over the course of two years, Purdue Pharma provided the LAT with more than a dozen hours of briefings and discussions regarding the clinical evidence supporting OxyContin’s 12-hour dosing and the regulatory requirement that we promote the product as such. Unfortunately, the paper disregarded this information, instead publishing a story that’s long on anecdote and short on facts.

CLAIM: OxyContin has a 12-hour dosing “problem” that puts patients at risk.

FACT: Nearly a decade ago, the FDA cited a lack of clinical evidence when it formally rejected the “fundamental premise” that patients receiving OxyContin at intervals more frequent than twice-daily are at increased risk of “side effects and serious adverse reactions.” In doing so, the agency reinforced the twice-daily labeling for OxyContin. The LAT omitted the findings of this report from its story.


CLAIM: The clinical data shows OxyContin is “an 8-hour drug.”

FACT: Scientific evidence amassed over more than 20 years, including more than a dozen controlled clinical studies, supports the FDA’s approval of 12-hour dosing for OxyContin. The OxyContin label has been updated more than 30 times and at no point did FDA request a change to the dosing frequency. In fact, the FDA-approved label clearly states, “There are no well-controlled clinical studies evaluating the safety and efficacy with dosing more frequently than every 12 hours.”


CLAIM: Purdue should tell physicians to prescribe OxyContin for eight-hour use.

FACT: The FDA prohibits pharmaceutical companies from promoting their products for uses, including dosing, not approved by the agency. Given FDA has not approved OxyContin for eight-hour use, we do not recommend that dosing to prescribers. In fact, a State Attorney General recently cited a peer company for falsely claiming that OxyContin was an eight-hour drug. The LAT omitted this piece of information from its story.


CLAIM: It’s rare for patients to take extended-release drugs at different intervals.

FACT: In a 2008 report on OxyContin dosing, the FDA recognized there may be significant “patient variability” when it comes to opioid-based treatment of pain. The agency also noted that “it is important that physicians individualize the treatment and dosing for each patient.” The LAT omits this finding specific to the use of OxyContin.


CLAIM: The Los Angeles Times has uncovered new information.

FACT: The LAT’s claims have not only been publicly voiced, they’ve been directly rejected by regulatory authorities. This story not only fails to provide the public with the facts about a complex topic, it risks creating more confusion around our national opioid epidemic. For more than a decade, Purdue Pharma has sought to play a constructive role in the fight against opioid abuse, including by reformulating OxyContin with abuse-deterrent properties and leading our industry in this area of innovation. That may be an inconvenient fact for the LAT, but it’s a fact nonetheless.

 

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Important Safety Information

WARNING: ADDICTION, ABUSE AND MISUSE; LIFE-THREATENING RESPIRATORY DEPRESSION; ACCIDENTAL INGESTION; NEONATAL OPIOID WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME; and CYTOCHROME P450 3A4 INTERACTION

Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse

OXYCONTIN® exposes patients and other users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse and misuse, which can lead to overdose and death. Assess each patient’s risk prior to prescribing OXYCONTIN and monitor all patients regularly for the development of these behaviors or conditions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression

Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression may occur with use of OXYCONTIN. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of OXYCONTIN or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow OXYCONTIN tablets whole; crushing, chewing, or dissolving OXYCONTIN tablets can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of oxycodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Accidental Ingestion

Accidental ingestion of even one dose of OXYCONTIN, especially by children, can result in a fatal overdose of oxycodone [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Prolonged use of OXYCONTIN during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts. If opioid use is required for a prolonged period in a pregnant woman, advise the patient of the risk of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and ensure that appropriate treatment will be available [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Cytochrome P450 3A4 Interaction

The concomitant use of OXYCONTIN with all cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitors may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentrations, which could increase or prolong adverse drug effects and may cause potentially fatal respiratory depression. In addition, discontinuation of a concomitantly used cytochrome P450 3A4 inducer may result in an increase in oxycodone plasma concentration. Monitor patients receiving OXYCONTIN and any CYP3A4 inhibitor or inducer [see Warnings and Precautions (5.14) and Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

  • OxyContin is contraindicated in patients with significant respiratory depression, acute or severe bronchial asthma in an unmonitored setting or in the absence of resuscitative equipment, known or suspected paralytic ileus and gastrointestinal obstruction, hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylaxis) to oxycodone.
  • OxyContin contains oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance. OxyContin exposes users to the risks of opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse. As modified-release products such as OxyContin deliver the opioid over an extended period of time, there is a greater risk for overdose and death due to the larger amount of oxycodone present. Addiction can occur at recommended doses and if the drug is misused or abused. Assess each patient’s risk for opioid addiction, abuse or misuse prior to prescribing OxyContin and monitor all patients during therapy for the development of these behaviors or conditions.
  • Instruct patients to swallow the OxyContin tablets intact. Crushing, chewing, snorting, or injecting the dissolved product could result in overdose and death.
  • Serious, life-threatening, or fatal respiratory depression has been reported with modified-release opioids, even when used as recommended, and if not immediately recognized and treated, may lead to respiratory arrest and death. The risk of respiratory depression is greatest during initiation of therapy or following a dose increase; therefore, closely monitor patients for respiratory depression. Proper dosing and titration of OxyContin are essential. Overestimating the OxyContin dose when converting patients from another opioid product can result in fatal overdose with the first dose.
  • Accidental ingestion of even one dose of OxyContin, especially by children, can result in respiratory depression and death due to an overdose of oxycodone.
  • Prolonged use of OxyContin during pregnancy can result in neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, which may be life-threatening to the neonate if not recognized and treated, and requires management according to protocols developed by neonatology experts.
  • Hypotension, profound sedation, coma, respiratory depression, or death may result if OxyContin is used concomitantly with other CNS depressants, including alcohol or illicit drugs that can cause CNS depression. Start with 1/3 to 1/2 the usual dose of OxyContin, monitor patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, and consider using a lower dose of the concomitant CNS depressant.
  • Closely monitor elderly, cachectic, and debilitated patients, and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease because of increased risk of life-threatening respiratory depression. Consider the use of alternative non-opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pulmonary disease if possible.
  • OxyContin may cause severe hypotension, including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. Monitor patients during dose initiation and titration. Avoid use of OxyContin in patients with circulatory shock.
  • Monitor patients taking OxyContin who may be susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention for signs of sedation and respiratory depression. Avoid the use of OxyContin in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.
  • OxyContin is contraindicated in patients with GI obstruction, including paralytic ileus. Use caution when prescribing OxyContin for patients who have difficulty swallowing, or have underlying GI disorders that may predispose them to obstruction. Consider use of an alternative analgesic in these patients.
  • OxyContin may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis, for worsening symptoms.
  • OxyContin may aggravate convulsions in patients with convulsive disorders and may induce or aggravate seizures in some clinical settings. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control.
  • Avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist or partial agonist analgesics in patients who have received or are receiving OxyContin, as they may reduce the analgesic effect and/or precipitate withdrawal. Do not abruptly discontinue OxyContin.
  • OxyContin may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery.
  • Concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors may prolong opioid effects. Use with CYP3A4 inducers may cause lack of efficacy or development of withdrawal symptoms. If co-administration is necessary, evaluate patients frequently and consider dose adjustments until stable drug effects are achieved.

Please read the Full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning, for information about OxyContin.

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