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RADARS System Study Indicates Low Rates of Abuse for tapentadol IR

DENVER, Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Multiple studies, conducted independently by Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-related Surveillance (RADARS®) System, indicate low rates of abuse, diversion and non-medical use of the pain reliever tapentadol IR since the product launched in 2009. The results of the 18-month RADARS® System study on tapentadol IR were presented at the American Academy of Pain Medicine's 28th Annual Meeting. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, claiming more than 27,000 lives each year. In 2009, non-medical use of pain relievers among persons aged 12 years or older was second only to marijuana in the United States. 

The objective of the study was to compare abuse and diversion rates for tapentadol IR with other opioids, which are medications that relieve pain by reducing the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain. Medications that fall within this class include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (Kadian, Avinza), codeine, and related drugs.

The studies measure the non-medical use of tapentadol IR among college students as well as data from the Drug Diversion Program, Survey of Key Informants' Patients (SKIP), Poison Centers and Opioid Treatment Programs.


•Data from all studies indicate that tapentadol IR is creating less public health burden (e.g., arrests, admissions to public detoxification programs, calls to poison centers) than other potent opioids.
•Abuse and diversion rates for tapentadol IR were very low during the first 18 months after launch and did not change significantly over time, despite an increased level of legitimate medical use.
•Rates of non-medical use of tapentadol IR by college students have been low and have decreased over time.
The Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System is a prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion surveillance system that collects timely product-and geographically-specific data. The RADARS System measures rates of abuse, misuse and diversion throughout the United States, contributing to the understanding of trends and aiding the development of effective interventions. These data assist pharmaceutical companies in fulfillment of their regulatory obligations such as risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS).

 Kalena Wilkinson


Posted: February 2012

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