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Morrisey, other AGs seek tamper-resistant opioid drugs

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined with 47 other attorneys general in a letter asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure that generic manufacturers of opioid prescription drugs use tamper-resistant and abuse-resistant formulations.

The letter, which was sent to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, says prescription drug abuse is a significant danger and has reached epidemic levels in many states. The letter states the development of tamper-resistant opioid-based prescription pain relievers help to deter abuse and can be a part of a comprehensive approach when combined with prevention, interdiction, prosecution and substance-abuse treatment.

"Like many other states and territories, West Virginia suffers from an epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  The most recently available information from the Centers for Disease Control shows the Mountain State had one of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the nation in 2008 with more than 25 deaths per 100,000 people. That is a very sad and scary statistic that is made all the worse when you think of the families and lives forever changed by this plague," Morrisey said in a news release.

Attorneys general in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina are the lead authors of the letter, Morissey said.