THIS state knows well the damage that the abuse of opioid pain relievers has caused. The problem of Hillbilly Heroin has devastated parts of southern West Virginia.
These medications are designed to release medication slowly over a long period of time to relieve moderate to severe pain. Many people need such relief.
But abusers can turn a pill that dispenses relief over 12 hours into a cheap thrill that lasts a few seconds. Manufacturers have adopted abuse-deterrent features that make crushing the tablets more difficult.
With the patents for OxyContin and Opana ER set to expire next year, competition will begin with generic versions of these medications.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Hal Rogers, both R-Ky., are pushing the Food and Drug Administration to require the makers of generic forms of these pills to adopt the same abuse-deterrent measures the patent holders now use.
"We are running perilously close to another potential pain pill cliff," Rogers wrote.
Requiring generic manufacturers to use these features should be an easy call for officials at the FDA. They should just do it.