Four U.S. senators and the attorneys general of 28 states are voicing their disapproval of an FDA decision to approve a powerful pure hydrocodone painkiller. The attorneys general wrote a letter expressing their concern, saying they believe the approval of Zohydro ER “has the potential to exacerbate our nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic.” They noted the pure hydrocodone drug is five to ten times more potent than other hydrocodone products and, unlike other products on the market, is easily crushed and has no abuse-deterrent features.
Four senators—Dianne Feinstein, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Manchin, and Kirsten Gillibrand—also wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, saying the drug “will only contribute to the rising toll of addiction and death.” An FDA spokesman responded, saying “abuse-deterrent formulations” are not available for some painkillers.
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