This study evaluated changes in abuse exposures, therapeutic error exposures, and diversion into illegal markets associated with brand extended-release oxycodone (ERO) following introduction of reformulated ERO. Original ERO and reformulated ERO street prices also were compared. Data from the Poison Center and Drug Diversion programs of the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS) System were used. Quarterly rates 2 years prior to introduction of reformulated ERO (October 2008 through September 2010) were compared to quarterly rates after introduction (October 2010 through March 2012) using negative binomial regression. Street prices were compared using a mixed effects linear regression model. Following reformulated ERO introduction, poison center ERO abuse exposures declined 38% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 31-45) per population and 32% (95% CI: 24-39) per unique recipients of dispensed drug. Therapeutic error exposures declined 24% (95% CI: 15-31) per population and 15% (95% CI: 6-24) per unique recipients of dispensed drug. Diversion reports declined 53% (95% CI: 41-63) per population and 50% (95% CI: 39-59) per unique recipients of dispensed drug. Declines exceeded those observed for other prescription opioids in aggregate. After its introduction, the street price of reformulated ERO was significantly lower than original ERO.
Perspective: This article indicates that the abuse, therapeutic errors, and diversion of ERO declined following the introduction of a tamper-resistant reformulation of the product. Reformulating abused prescription opioids to include tamper-resistant properties may be an effective approach to reduce abuse of such products.
Keywords: Epidemiology; diversion; extended-release oxycodone abuse; reformulation; therapeutic error.
Copyright © 2013 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.