FDA Approval of New Painkiller Causes Uproar
A coalition of 40 healthcare, consumers and addiction treatment groups are crying out over the FDA’s approval of a potent new painkiller known as Zohydro. Zohydro, like many other prescription painkillers, contains hydrocodone and can become extremely addictive. The FDA approved the drug last year, but it is set to become available to consumers next month. Given reports from the Centers for Disease Control that prescription opioid deaths have quadrupled since 1999, concern over the availability of Zohydro seems appropriate and timely.
Zohydro Five Times More Potent Than OxyContin
Zohydro is five to ten times more potent than similar opioid prescription painkillers, making it a likely culprit for abuse. However, the drug’s maker, Zogenix, claims that Zohydro’s benefits outweigh its risks. The drug was specifically approved to be used for chronic pain sufferers, and some experts such as Paul Gileno, founder and president of the U.S. Pain Foundation, argue that this group isn’t likely to abuse their prescription painkillers. Rather, they are just looking for pain relief so that they can lead normal lives. What is problematic is that Zogenix may follow in the footsteps of its sister pharmaceutical companies by expanding clinical trials from chronic pain to a myriad of other pain-inducing illnesses and conditions.
Zohydro an FDA-Approved Recipe for Death?
Some are calling Zohydro an FDA-approved prescription for addiction and death. In fact, one tablet contains enough hydrocodone to kill a child, and two tablets could lead to overdose in an adult not used to opioid painkillers. Furthermore, concerns have arisen over the fact that Zohydro can be easily crushed, lending itself to rampant abuse. Although there are advocates for Zohydro’s use in treating chronic pain, some doctors say that opiates are a lousy method of treating this condition. Opioids are generally a good method of easing pain and suffering at the end of life but are not good for long-term use, which can lead to tolerance and the need for higher and higher doses. Finally, taking prescription opioids can actually make chronic pain worse, a condition called hyperalgesia. If you’re concerned about the approval of Zohydro and its release on the market in March, you can call your U.S. Senator and ask them for an investigation of the FDA’s approval process of the drug, and if you’re in the Washington, D.C. area you can join the Fed Up! rally on September 28, 2014 where you can speak out against the FDA’s perpetual support of the prescription drug industry’s manufacturing of prescription opioids over consumers’ best interests.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.