Massachusetts Bans FDA-Approved Painkiller, Raising Questions of States' Regulatory Authority

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Massachusetts has banned physicians from prescribing Zohydro ER, a prescription painkiller containing nothing but hydrocodone, despite the fact the drug has been  approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Gov. Deval Patrick (D) announced prescribing and dispensing Zohydro would be barred in Massachusetts until the drug became more difficult to abuse. He supported the ban by recognizing the abuse of opioids, such as Zohydro, is increasing crime within Massachusetts, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Massachusetts isn't the only state with concerns over the use of Zohydro. Gov. Peter Shumlin (R) of Vermont issued an emergency order earlier this month making it more difficult to prescribe Zohydro, although there is no complete ban on the drug in Vermont, according to the report.

While these state actions reflect growing concerns about prescription drug abuse, state pushback of this nature to the drug and to the FDA is unprecedented, according to the report.

As a result of the ban of Zohydro in Massachusetts, Zogenix, the pharmaceutical company that created Zohydro, filed a lawsuit against the governor seeking to declare the ban unconstitutional.

More Articles on State Legislative Actions:

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8 Recent Legislative and Legal Developments Involving Hospitals
Florida Bill Would Require Independent Physician Review of Medical Malpractice Cases

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