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Mass. Congress Members Want Painkiller Taken Off Market

The painkiller Zohydro may make opiate drug abuse an even bigger problem, they say.

Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Photo credit: Patch file photo.

Members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation are asking the Food and Drug Administration to take the painkiller Zohydro off the market because they say the drug may make opiate drug abuse an even bigger problem.

The Boston Globe reported that U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch filed a bipartisan bill that asks the FDA to withdraw approval of the prescription drug. Massachusetts Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III and Congresswoman Katherine Clark have signed the bill as co-sponsors.

Lynch, as well as other members of the Massachusetts delegation Michael Capuano, William Keating, John Tierney and James McGovern have also signed a letter asking the FDA to reconsider the approval, according to The Boston Globe.

They are concerned because the drug is comprised of hydrocodone, which is a synthetic opiate that is considered more potent than oxycodone, which “has been blamed for prescription drug addictions across the country,” reported The Boston Globe.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told lawmakers that Zohydro fills an “important and unique niche,” reported Sci-Tech Today. She said she will work with Congress “on preserving access to medications for patients suffering from pain, while addressing a serious public health problem -- the inappropriate use of opioids." 

In a statement to The Boston Globe, Zogenix, Inc., which manufactures Zohydro, said, “Zogenix has always been, and will continue to be, committed to the chronic pain patient and ensuring they have appropriate access to safe and effective therapies to manage their pain.”

Read the full Boston Globe article here.

Mary Contrary March 19, 2014 at 10:04 AM
There are some who have difficulty with the pain killers that have been available. Medical professionals have been hoping for new ones to be approved. Don't deny patients pain relief because someone MIGHT steal them
Robin V March 19, 2014 at 10:13 AM
Thank heavens for drug companies that come out with pain killing drugs and for all the research that goes with it; so use it for what it is meant for; leave Mass congress out of it, we dont need them policing our drugs. Drug awareness , begins in the home---
AHM March 19, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Maybe I don't know all the answers but it would seem this is a problem of dispensing. It has it's place and maybe some health professionals are not using it for it's intended use. Maybe if they prescribe a certain amount it would require them to answer for why they should be giving out so much. Rather than getting rid of a drug that may help some people who are suffering.
Cori Ryan March 19, 2014 at 12:35 PM
Hydrocodone is already prescribed today so this is pointless. Vicodin has hydrocodone in it, and if you have ever taken Vicodin for something then this is not incredibly different. It appears Lynch does not understand the whole picture of addiction if he thinks this will solve anything rather than deprive someone of temporary treatment of pain after a serious medical procedure.
Amy March 19, 2014 at 04:06 PM
If the Massachusetts Congress members would leave this state we'd all have less pain.

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