HealthDay News — Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin who some have blamed for the epidemic of opioid painkiller addictions, has patented a medicine aimed at curbing those disorders.
The new anti-addiction drug is a fast-acting form of buprenorphine, which helps control drug cravings, CBS News reported. Previously prescribed in either tablet or fast-dissolving strips, the Purdue version comes in a “wafer” that dissolves in only a few seconds. Richard Sackler, a member of Purdue’s board, is listed as one of the inventors on the patent, CBS said. The Sackler family controls Purdue.
The announcement comes as Purdue finds itself in the middle of numerous lawsuits from states accusing the company of helping to create the opioid addiction crisis. In one lawsuit, the Massachusetts attorney general accused Purdue of a “deadly, deceptive scheme to sell opioids.” Purdue and the Sackler family deny the allegations.
Last week, Purdue donated $3.4 million to the developer of an over-the-counter version of naloxone, a drug often used to prevent a fatal opioid overdose. Purdue said it will not receive royalties from the new form of naloxone, which is being developed by Harm Reduction Therapeutics, CBS said.