OxyContin maker tests pain drug in kids

Thursday, July 05, 2012
OxyContin bottle

The maker of the powerful pain drug OxyContin is beginning to test the medicine in children, hoping to secure an extra six months of protection for the drug's patent, which is set to expire in 2013.

The move is controversial, in light of problems with addiction to OxyContin, which belongs to the family of drugs called opioids that also includes morphine and heroin. But several pain specialists say the move is an important step in giving a more accurate picture of the drug's effect on children, considering that many doctors already prescribe the drug off-label for children.

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