FDA Approves Abuse-Resistant Painkiller

A harder-to-abuse version of Oxycodone could be on shelves by year end

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Coming soon to a medicine cabinet near you: Oxecta, a short-acting painkiller that the Wall Street Journal likens to "an immediate-release version of oxycodone...designed to prevent drug tampering and misabuse."

Pfizer and Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc. both said Monday that regulators from the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for sale. Pfizer acquired the marketing rights to the drug in March, and Acura designed the technology for the drug, which prevents it from being crushed and snorted. Bloomberg's Catherine Larkin reports that Acura expects Pzizer to Acura to "begin selling Oxecta late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of this year."

News of the approval prompted Acura's shares to increase by 75 percent, the Nasdaq's biggest intraday percentage increase in 22 years, writes Larkin. Nonetheless, Cowen & Co. market analyst Ian Sanderson tells Bloomberg he's skeptical about how much the drug will help Pfizer's bottom line. “While the Acura technology does prevent them from being crushed and snorted and chewed, the primary means of abuse is still wide open," he says. "It really does not have a lot of commercial potential.

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