Doctor Says Extra Steps Were Taken To Prevent Opioid Abuse
NORMAN, Oklahoma - A Johnson & Johnson drug researcher and developer said the company took extra measures to make it hard for patients to abuse their painkillers.
Dr. Bruce Moskovitz told the judge he is "proud" of the opioid products Johnson & Johnson developed over the time he worked there.
He talked about one drug, Nucynta ER, which is a painkiller pill the company released around 2011.
Moskovitz said they put a "tamper-resistant" coating on the pill, making it impossible for drug abusers to crush the pill up and snort it or inject it.
He said not all pharmaceutical companies went to this length to prevent abuse.
"Ultimately, we put the tablets in a coffee grinder to see if we could, using a high speed coffee grinder, could get to that powder of the active ingredient," Moskovitz said.
"We broke the blade of the coffee grinder and didn't do much to change the extended release properties of tapentadol," he said.
When the state questioned Moskovitz, the attorney said the most common way to abuse pills is to take more than instructed, and that Johnson & Johnson still couldn't prevent that type of abuse.
Moskovitz didn't agree, saying it's very common for a drug abuser to chew an extended release opioid, so they'd feel the long-term effects in a very short period of time.