U.S. Rep. Mary Bono Mack
BY BEN GOAD
Published: 19 July 2012 07:03 PM
WASHINGTON Pharmaceutical companies would be required to make their pills tamper-resistant under legislation introduced by Inland Rep. Mary Bono Mack as a means to counter the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
Bono Mack, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, pointed to widespread evidence that drug users and dealers crush pills like Vicodin and OxyContin into powders, dissolve them in water or even inject them as a way to adulterate the medicine’s time-release mechanism.
If passed, the “Stop the Tampering of Prescription Pills” or STOPP Act, would direct the Food and Drug Administration to require companies to use tamper-resistant formulas for new-opiate-based drugs. Opiate-based drugs already on the market would have to be modified into tamper-free versions, though no timeline has been set.
“They need to reformulate or withdraw their drugs from the market,” Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, said Thursday, July 19, during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol Building.
Bono Mack is teaming up with Rep. Bill Keating, D-Mass., to push the bill. Though from different political parties and opposite coasts, the two lawmakers said their home districts each have been hit with the scourge of pill misuse and addiction.
“Prescription drug abuse in this country has become an epidemic,” Keating said. “This is a public health issue and it’s an economic issue. It’s a federal issue, too.”
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