The drug changed names during the process -- it used to be called Acurox -- but it wasn't brainstorming in the marketing department that caused the long delay. Acura and King Pharmaceuticals, which Pfizer purchased, originally developed the drug with niacin, the active ingredient in Abbott Labs'
Oxecta still contains Acura's abuse-deterrent technology that prevents common methods of tampering -- think snorting and injecting -- but without long-term epidemiological data, the FDA won't let Pfizer and Acura claim that the drug reduces drug abuse. In fact, the product description explicitly states, "There is no evidence that Oxecta has a reduced abuse liability compared to immediate-release oxycodone."
Immediate-release oxycodone, the active ingredient in Oxecta, is available as cheap generics, so Pfizer will have to convince doctors that the threat of abuse is worth the added cost to the patient. Acura certainly hopes its new partner is up to the task. The company is counting on royalties ranging from 5% to 25%, depending on how much Oxecta the company sells.
Through the King purchase, Pfizer has invested substantially in abuse-deterrent pain meds. On Thursday, it's scheduled to hear back about Remoxy, an extended-release, abuse-resistant oxycodone. Pfizer has a different set of partners for Remoxy -- Pain Therapeutics
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