The new OxyContin formula known as Oxecta is circulating the black market at a cheaper rate — 28 percent cheaper, to be exact — than the older version of the opioid drug, according to research revealed at a conference of law enforcement officers today.
The new crush-proof formula is an attempt by pharmaceutical companies to decrease prescription drug abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that every day 100 people die from drug overdoses in the United States, 74 percent involving prescription opioid pain relievers.
Researchers compiled street price data from the RADARS® System StreetRx.com, a website recently featured in Fortune magazine. The website assembles and organizes online crowd sourced information about the black-market price of prescription drugs
The new drug reportedly goes for $0.56 per milligram, compared to $0.78 for the original version. Similar results were reported in a survey of law enforcement officers from the RADARS System Drug Diversion program.
The results were presented by Nabarun Dasgupta at the 22nd Annual Educational Training Conference of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), in Jacksonville, Florida. The audience, made up mostly of law enforcement officials, reacted positively to the street price data on OxyContin and confirmed that the new formulation was not worth as much as the original.
“As the pharmaceutical industry tries to engineer new drugs that are harder to crush, snort or inject, the unregulated free market of diverted prescription drugs can reveal how effective these efforts are,” says Dasgupta. “In the end, these products will be judged by the human suffering they cause or prevent. Black market street prices can tell us that story ahead of time.”
- The Centers for Disease Control‘s findings on prescription drug abuse in the United States
- The National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators
- The Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System
- Maintaining a High with the New Uncrushable Oxy’s