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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Judge Blocks Ban On Zohydro ER

A federal judge has ruled that Massachusetts cannot ban the pure hydrocodone drug Zohydro ER (extended release), according to The Wall Street Journal. Zogenix, the makers of Zohydro, argued that banning the drug is unconstitutional, and U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel agreed, despite public health concerns.

“Today’s legal ruling was a positive step forward for Massachusetts patients,” Roger Hawley, Chief Executive Officer of Zogenix, said in a news release. “We invite concerned officials to engage with us to discuss fair and appropriate safeguards for pain medications like Zohydro ER rather than seeking to ban or restrict one specific treatment.”

In an attempt to stop the potentially dangerous drug Zohydro from adding to the nations already out of control prescription opioid epidemic, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that the pure hydrocodone drug would be banned throughout the state.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zohydro ER in October, despite the FDA’s own panel of experts ruling against the approval. The FDA panel was concerned that Zohydro lacked tamper resistant properties that would prevent users of the drug from crushing the medication for snorting or injection. Without tamper resistant feature Zohydro will most certainly be abused, fueling America’s ever growing prescription drug epidemic.

Judge Rya Zobel issued a preliminary injunction on the ban, stating that it appears the Massachusetts government overstepped its authority. Zobel said that Zogenix would probably be able to permanently lift the ban. Judge Zobel said the ban would “undermine the FDA’s ability to make drugs available to promote and protect the public health.”

“Addiction is a serious enough problem already in Massachusetts without having to deal with another addictive narcotic painkiller sold in a form that isn’t tamper proof,” said Governor Patrick in a statement. “We will turn our attention now to other means to address this public-health crisis.”
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