A coalition of health care and consumer groups, as well as 40 addiction treatment centers, has joined together in the fight against the FDA’s decision to approve a drug that, without question, will be heavily abused, CNN reports.
Health groups include:
- The American Society of Addiction Medicine
- Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing
- Public Citizen Health Research Group
- Phoenix House
- The Hazelden Foundation
What’s more, Zohydro ER lacks tamper-resistant features that would make the drug more appealing to experts. The drug can be crushed or dissolved, making it easy for users to either snort or inject the medication. Such problems were also associated with the drug OxyContin; however, the brand name OxyContin has been reformulated making it more difficult for users to tamper with the medication.
In December, 28 attorneys general wrote to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg regarding Zohydro, they said that the approval of Zohydro ER “has the potential to exacerbate our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic because this drug will be the first hydrocodone-only opioid narcotic that is reportedly five to ten times more potent than traditional hydrocodone products, and it has no abuse-deterrent properties.”
The coalition of health groups opposed to Zohydro wrote a letter to Commissioner Hamburg, which stated, “In the midst of a severe drug epidemic fueled by overprescribing of opioids, the very last thing the country needs is a new, dangerous, high-dose opioid. Too many people have already become addicted to similar opioid medications, and too many lives have been lost.”