Outcry over pain reliever

Powerful prescription opiate hits market despite objections

State officials around the country are imploring the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its approval of a powerful new pain reliever.

Last fall, the FDA approved Zohydro, an opiate-based pain reliever that comes in time-release capsules containing five times the amount of hydrocodone previously available in pills, despite the recommendation of an FDA advisory committee, according to SFGate.com. Last year, 28 state attorneys signed a letter urging the FDA to make the pill harder to crush—which allows abusers to get around the pill’s time-release properties—or revoke the drug’s approval entirely.

After Zohydro hit the market last month, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced an emergency order that would make it more difficult to prescribe, while Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick ordered a ban on prescribing and dispensing the drug until it is marketed in a form that’s more difficult to abuse.