King Pharma, Acura plan new drug applicaion for Acurox tablets

The companies expect to submit in early 2011.

King Pharmaceuticals and Acura Pharmaceuticals are planning to develop and submit a new drug application (NDA) for Acurox (oxycodone HC1) tablets (without niacin) intended to relieve moderate to severe pain and introduce limits and impediments to potential abuse via nasal snorting of crushed tablets and intravenous injection of dissolved tablets.

Both entities said that on April 22, 2010 at a joint advisory committee meeting, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) questioned the effectiveness of niacin included in the current Acurox formulation but cited no concerns with the snorting and intravenous abuse limiting features of the product.

King Pharmaceuticals and Acura are also planning to develop and submit NDAs for two additional immediate release opioid analgesic products utilising Acura's proprietary Aversion Technolog: Vycavert (hydrocodone bitartrate/acetaminophen) tablets and Acuracet (oxycodone HCl/acetaminophen) tablets.

Like Acurox, these additional product candidates are patent protected compositions comprising a mixture of active and inactive ingredients intended to relieve pain and introduce limits and impediments to nasal and intravenous abuse.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.