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This Is Your Brain On New Improved Hydromorphone

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Neuromed announced Wednesday that it received $53 million for some advanced opioid studies, from some Canucks, other venture firms and that guy in the basement next door. The company is developing a once-daily treatment of hydromorphone, a pain-killer up to 10 times stronger than morphine.
Hydromorphone only exists in the U.S. as an immediate-release drug (Dalaudid) and must be administered many times a day, which either provides awkward social contact with caretakers for those in terminal pain or forces embarrassing frequent bathroom breaks for the recreational user.
Neuromed dished out $30 million in April to get exclusive marketing rights to extended-release hydromorphone and immediately placed calls to Rush Limbaugh’s ad-sales guy.
Companies are especially careful how they market the release mechanism of their incredibly powerful narcotics. The whole “release” debacle was one of things that got OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma in $600 million worth of trouble. Keep that in mind next time you see an ad with either a translucent hydromorphoned butterfly terrorizing someone while they sleep or a product easily confused with a Tylenol gelcap.
Neuromed gets funds to develop painkiller [Philadelphia Inquirer]


By Heisenberg Media (Flickr: Elon Musk - The Summit 2013) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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