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.”