Backed by a US campaign to lower the abuse of prescription pain drugs, pharmaceutical companies are devising new forms of the medicines that don't lead to misuse, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.
In January, the FDA outlined several strategies to formulate new treatments and to make existing opioid analgesics less susceptible to abuse.
Orexo is awaiting a July 6 ruling in the US on a medicine that blocks opiate receptors in the nervous system.
In June, Nektar Therapeutics announced positive trial results on an experimental drug designed to enter the brain slowly, reducing the euphoria that can lead to addiction.
Pharmaceutical companies could introduce chemical combinations that would neutralise the ability to ingest it in non-prescribed manners, or induce an unpleasant sensation which could discourage overuse or alternative administration, according to the news source.
"Putting other things in the opiate that make it unattractive and unpleasant to use could create abuse deterrent properties," said Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs at the FDA.