CHICAGO, IL â€“ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to overturn the recent approval of Zohydro ER.
A pure hydrocodone pill, Zohydro is 5 to 10 times more potent than currently available products like Vicodin or Lortab. It has been reported that Zohydro can be prescribed in pills ranging from 10 milligrams to as high as 50 milligrams, while currently available hydrocodone products only range from 5 to 10 milligrams. Zohydro ER will also not contain any abuse-deterrent properties, thus allowing addicts to more easily crush, snort and inject the powerful drug.
The painkillerâ€™s high potential for abuse prompted Madigan and attorneys general from Indiana, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Maine to ask HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reverse the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationâ€™s (FDA) approval of the drug, which is set to hit the market this month.
â€œThe prescription drug abuse problem in our country has reached epidemic levels,â€ Madigan said. â€œThe FDAâ€™s decision to approve this form of Zohydro, if left to stand, could have disastrousâ€”and potentially deadlyâ€”consequences.â€
The FDA approved Zohydro last October despite its own advisory committee voting 11-2 in opposition of the drug being released. In November, Madigan joined 28 other state attorneys general in asking the FDA to reconsider its approval of the drug.