States Fighting to Ban Zohydro

Feds Face Backlash for Zohydro Approval

A recent push-back against the FDA over the approval of the hydrocodone-based painkiller Zohydro has given some American states the impetus to prevent the sale of the drug within their borders. The most widely publicized battle against Zohydro has been staged in Massachusetts, where in late March, Governor Deval Patrick declared opiate abuse a statewide public health crisis and in the process, directed all of the state’s emergency response personnel to carry Narcan, a drug that quickly counteracts the effects of heroin overdoses. Patrick has made the sale of Zohydro illegal, claiming that it has not yet been produced in a tamper-proof form and will remain illegal until the necessary safeguards can be implemented in the drug’s production.

FDA Fires Back

The response from both the FDA and the pharmaceutical community has been critical, claiming that the ban is a “slippery slope” and extremely troubling.” Additional state and federal measures under way to ban this drug, including bills in the house and senate that prevent Zohydro and any additional opioid painkillers to be sold without abuse-deterrent mechanisms.

Last fall the FDA went against their own advisory board as well as numerous physicians and patients’ advocates to approve Zohydro. The widespread concern comes from the drugs extreme potential for addiction and dangerously quick delivery rate when crushed or snorted.

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