Madigan calls on HHS to overturn FDA approval of Zohydro

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[March 29, 2014]  CHICAGO On Wednesday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to overturn the recent approval of Zohydro ER.

A pure hydrocodone pill, Zohydro is five 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 range from only 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 painkiller'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 Administration's approval of the drug, which is set to hit the market this month.

"The prescription drug abuse problem in our country has reached epidemic levels," Madigan said. "The FDA's decision to approve this form of Zohydro, if left to stand, could have disastrous and potentially deadly consequences."

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The FDA approved Zohydro last October despite its own advisory committee voting 11-2 in opposition to the drug being released. In November, Madigan joined 28 other state attorneys general in asking the FDA to reconsider its approval of the drug.

[Text from file received from the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan]

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