FDA approvals of generic drugs: Impact on the diversion of opioid analgesic with a potential for abuse

James A. Inciardi, Hilary L. Surratt, Yamilka Stivers, Theodore J. Cicero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Genetic drugs account for half of all prescription drug purchases in the United States. Although they are bioequivalent to their branded counterparts, they are typically sold at substantial discounts from the branded price. Given this, the purpose of this analysis is to examine the impact of the introduction of generic forms of selected opioids on their diversion to the illicit marketplace. The analgesics in this analysis include oxycodone ER (extended release), and the fentanyl transdermal patch. The data were collected through a post-marketing surveillance initiative supported by the Researched Abuse Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System risk management program, gathered on a quatterly basis from a national sample of police and regulatory agencies. The results indicate that with oxycodone ER and the fentanyl transdermal patch, the diversion of their generic formulations occurs less often than that of the branded products, and that the introduction of the generic formulations did not significantly increase the overall levels of diversion during the period covered by this analysis. Although diversion did not increase in the short-term, the need for longer term monitoring appears warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Opioid Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Diversion
  • Fentanyl
  • Generics
  • Opioids
  • Oxycodone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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