Press Room

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Ranking Member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s ruling to not approve opioid drug applications reliant upon previous approvals which did not require abuse-deterrent properties: 

“We applaud FDA Commissioner Hamburg’s announcement that the FDA will not approve any abbreviated new drug applications that rely upon the approval of original OxyContin which did not have abuse-deterrent properties. With more than 16,000 Americans dying from opioid drug overdoses each year, FDA Commissioner Hamburg’s announcement is a significant step forward in the federal government’s effort to reduce opioid drug abuse and protect consumers.

“For too long, drug abusers have been able to crush or dissolve opioid drug products in order to defeat their time-release mechanisms for snorting or injecting the drugs.  This drug abuse has wreaked a terrible human and economic toll on our country’s patients, families, and health care system. However, the FDA recognized the merits of certain abuse-deterrent formulations and has also stated the Agency can require future generic opioid drugs to also have abuse-deterrent properties.

“It is clear that Commissioner Hamburg and her staff carefully reviewed the available scientific data to make a regulatory decision in the best interest of patients. We believe this decision will help protect patients and consumers while thwarting abuse.  Our hope is that FDA builds upon this decision to promote patient safety and prevent further abuse of opioids.”

Coburn and Upton have been working to keep non-abuse-deterrent prescription drugs from hitting the market:

A copy of Upton’s and Coburn’s December 21, 2012, letter can be found here.

FDA Commissioner Hamburg’s January 8, 2013, response to can be found here

A copy of Upton and Coburn’s March 5, 2013, letter can be found here.

FDA Commissioner Hamburg’s April 16, 2013, response can be found here.  


Date Title
12/16/14 Dr. Coburn on Tax Extenders: Washington’s Christmas Tree For Special Interests
12/16/14 Dr. Coburn's Statement on Protecting Veterans and Taxpayers
12/16/14 Senators Baldwin and Coburn Applaud Commitment to Enhance Access to HIV Drugs in Developing Countries
12/16/14 Coburn Introduces Bill to Protect and Strengthen the Social Security Disability Insurance Program
12/9/14 Coburn Releases Report Decoding the Tax Code
Date Title
11/18/14 Reps. Issa, Gingrey, and Sen. Coburn: GAO Study Finds Government’s Data Quality for Official Time is Unreliable
11/10/14 Value of Terrorism Prevention Centers Remains Unproven
Date Title
10/30/14 Wastebook 2014 Videos
10/29/14 Coburn “Concerned” With White House Reaction to Cyber Breach
10/22/14 Wastebook 2014: What Washington doesn't want you to read.
10/1/14 New Report Details Millions Spent on Unnecessary Transport of Surplus Vehicles From Afghanistan
Date Title
9/26/14 GAO: Federal Government Underreports Data Center Cost Savings by Billions
9/23/14 Statement by Senator Tom Coburn on the Recent Washington Post Story about the Department of Homeland Security
9/22/14 GAO: Long-term Viability of DHS Consolidation in Question
9/22/14 Bipartisan Bill to Consolidate Federal IT Infrastructure, Save Up to $3 Billion Passes Senate
9/19/14 Senate Approves Carper, Coburn Legislation to Curb Improper Payments to Deceased Individuals
9/19/14 Bipartisan Legislation Would Require State Representation on Federal Banking Board
9/9/14 Reducing Insurance Subsidies for Wealthy Farmers Could Save Hundreds of Millions Annually
Date Title
8/29/14 New Health Benefit For Temporary Federal Employees May Violate Federal Law
8/28/14 Oklahoma Delegation Responds to Obama Administration’s Failure to Grant ESEA Extension
8/13/14 GAO Report Confirms Need for Additional Oversight of Medicare Claims Reviews
8/12/14 Over 600 Illegal Immigrants with Prior Criminal Convictions Released into the U.S.
8/10/14 Big Banks Claim Millions of Dollars in Tax Credits Intended For Poor Communities
8/8/14 Members Call on OMB Director to Address Concerns of Inspectors General
8/4/14 GAO: $619 Billion in Government Spending Never Disclosed on Transparency Website