[1-9-17] Today, the FDA approved Arymo ER (morphine sulfate extended-release tablets), a new extended-release opioid with abuse-deterrent properties. Arymo ER is approved to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. Arymo ER is formulated to give it physicochemical properties expected to make abuse by injection difficult. However, abuse by the intravenous, intranasal, and oral routes is still possible.
Expanding access to abuse-deterrent opioids to discourage misuse and abuse is part of the FDA’s Opioid Action Plan, and the pharmaceutical industry has shown significant interest in the development of abuse-deterrent products. Technology is progressing rapidly, and these medications hold promise as their abuse-deterrent qualities continue to improve and as they become more widely available.
As the FDA reviews new drug applications, the agency works through various issues that may arise, including exclusivity. Another product, MorphaBond (morphine sulfate extended-release tablets), has marketing exclusivity for labeling describing the expected reduction of abuse of single-entity extended-release morphine by the intranasal route due to physicochemical properties. Due to MorphaBond’s marketing exclusivity, no other single-entity extended-release morphine product submitted in an abbreviated new drug application or 505(b)(2) application can be approved for that use at this time.
Because the science of abuse deterrence is still evolving and the agency does not yet know which technologies will ultimately prove most effective in deterring opioid abuse, the agency believes that it is in the interest of public health to encourage development of multiple abuse-deterrent alternatives while continuing to promote and protect innovation.
The details of the FDA’s scientific review of the clinical evidence that supported the approval of Arymo ER are available in the FDA Review Summary, which will be posted to Drugs@FDA following approval. Additional information about Arymo ER is available in the briefing materials from the August 4, 2016, joint meeting of the Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.