US Congresswoman Pingree on Powerful New Painkiller That Could Lead to Drug Abuse Unless Properly Packaged

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US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D)

US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D)

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,731)

US Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D) joined four other members of Congress from northern New England in asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider their approval of a powerful new painkiller that she says could be easily abused.

“New England has seen more than our share of prescription drug addiction and abuse.  One effective response has been to make painkillers like OxyContin tamper resistant, but now the FDA has gone ahead and approved a new drug that doesn’t have these safeguards.  It just doesn’t make sense and even the FDA’s own experts warned against approving the drug,” said Pingree.

Despite an 11 – 1 recommendation by its own panel of experts against approval, the FDA recently approved the sale of Zohydro ER.

Tamper resistant drugs can’t be crushedd which makes them harder to be abused since they can’t be turned into a form that can be snorted, chewed or injecdted.  OyContin was made tamper resistant in 2012 and the FDA has refused to allow a generic, crushable form of the drug on the market.  The manufacturer of Zohydro has announced they are developing a tamper resistant form of the drug and Pingree and her colleagues called on the FDA to keep the drug off the market until the new form is available.

Attorneys General from over two dozen states have made the same request.