[ZOHYDRO] Maker Of Opioid Painkiller Sues Massachusetts Over Ban On Sale

        The AP (4/8) provided background information, noting that in March, Gov. Patrick “declared a public health emergency in response to the state’s growing epidemic of heroin and opioid addiction.” The AP noted that the governor “gave the state public health commissioner certain emergency powers, including banning Zohydro” until safeguards are in place to prevent its potential abuse.

        The Hill (4/8, Devaney) reported in its “Regwatch” blog that the FDA approved the painkiller last October, “despite warnings from the agency’s own experts that it poses a danger to society.” Since that time a “number of lawmakers have written letters to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, requesting that she reverse the agency’s decision.” Some even urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “who oversees the FDA, to go over Hamburg’s head.”

        The Wall Street Journal (4/8, Stynes, Subscription Publication) reported that Zogenix Inc., the maker of opioid painkiller Zohydro (hydrocodone bitartrate) has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ban on the sale of the medicine in the state. The company claimed that the FDA has the authority to decide on the status of prescription medications and the ban in the state conflicts with that authority.

        The news was also covered by Reuters (4/8, Grover), Bloomberg BusinessWeek (4/7, Kary), and the Congressional Quarterly (4/8, Young, Subscription Publication).


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