Generic Drugs – 1: Addiction to generic drugs posing threats in America
Prescription drug abuse has become more rampant than ever in America. As per a recent report by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), most of the accidental deaths in the United States are a result of drug overdoses, with prescription pain relievers being the most widespread cause with 20,101 overdose deaths in 2015 alone. And now, a new threat of addiction to generic drugs, over the past several years, has taken the entire country by a storm.
Nowadays, many doctors have been prescribing generic drugs, which are chemically identical to their branded counterparts, but sold at substantially lower rates than the branded drugs. Thus, healthcare professionals and patients can be assured that these drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have the same dosage, ingredients, strength, performance, safety, quality, characteristics and give the same effect as that of a brand name.
Are generic drugs addictive
An addiction to any substance is a complex disease that is governed by a variety of factors. Thus, some drugs are more addictive than others due to various reasons such as the degree of the high produced by the drug or the speed at which the drug works, etc.
A 2012 study published in Open Medicine focused on the distribution of OxyContin prescriptions among communities based in Ontario, on the Canada-U.S. border. Surprisingly, it was found that though the prescriptions for OxyContin increased manifolds in Windsor, the drug could not be traced in many other parts of the country.
Clearly, it was deduced that the drug was being used for illicit purposes, and hence, was not available at the pharmacies across the country. Due to the fear of an impending epidemic of addiction, even the federal government refrained from allowing a generic version of the drug on the market. However, a new tamper-proof version of the drug was soon introduced, which put a check on drug abuse, only till the expiry of the patent. Following which, the generics were back into the market fueling the risk of pharmaceutical abuse, once again.
“I think we need to just really, seriously consider what impact generic OxyContin could have on the safety of residents of Canada,” said Tara Gomes, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the study’s lead author.
Exploring standards of generic drugs
Research shows that generics work as effectively as the branded drugs. FDA has approved generic drugs to meet the same rigid standards as their branded counterparts. For FDA approval, a generic drug must follow the following set of guidelines and specifications:
- contain the same active ingredients as the innovator drug
- be identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration
- have the same use indications
- be bioequivalent
- meet the same batch requirements for identity, strength, purity and quality
- be manufactured under the same strict standards of the FDA’s good manufacturing practice regulations required for innovator products
Living a drug-free life is possible
Many people inadvertently enter the world of addiction to drugs, including prescription medications, simply due to lack of awareness or knowledge. Addiction is a complex disease. Though wrong choices and bad company can certainly be the reasons for developing an unwanted addiction, other socioeconomic factors such as poverty, dysfunctional family system, etc., can contribute equally.
If you or someone you know suffers from the devastating consequences of drug addiction, seek medical help immediately. The Texas Drug Addiction Treatment can guide you with some of the best drug addiction treatment centers in Texas. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-5757 or chat online to know about the best drug rehabilitation centers in Texas.