Oct 11 Pfizer Inc said a late-stage
trial of its experimental pain drug showed that the drug's
long-term safety profile was comparable to those of similar
The trial tested the safety of the drug, called ALO-02, when
administered for up to 12 months.
The study enrolled 395 patients. About 61 percent of them
had chronic lower back pain and 18 percent had pain from
About 60 percent of the patients discontinued from the study
over the one-year period, with 19 percent of patients reporting
adverse events as the primary reason for discontinuation, Pfizer
said in a statement.
The pill uses a technology that discourages common methods
of drug abuse associated with prescription opioid use and
consists of an extended-release oxycodone pellet that surrounds
a core of naltrexone -- a drug used to treat alcohol and opioid
When used as directed, patients receive oxycodone in an
extended release manner. But if the pills are crushed, the
naltrexone is released and counteracts the effects of oxycodone.
Abuse of prescription opioid painkillers is a serious
concern in the United States and doctors have even urged the
U.S. health regulator to change prescription guidelines for
opioids to prevent abuse.