Zohydro to be Manufactured by Same Company That Makes Addiction Medicine

The newly approved pure hydrocodone product, Zohydro ER (extended release), will be made by the same company that manufactures Vivitrol, a drug used to treat patients addicted to opioids or alcohol, The New York Times reports.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zohydro ER last month for patients with pain that requires daily, around-the-clock, long-term treatment that cannot be treated with other drugs. Drugs such as Vicodin contain a combination of hydrocodone and other painkillers such as acetaminophen. Zohydro is expected to reach the market in early 2014.

In December 2012, a panel of experts assembled by the FDA voted against recommending approval of Zohydro ER. The panel cited concerns over the potential for addiction. In the 11-2 vote against approval, the panel said that while the drug’s maker, Zogenix, had met narrow targets for safety and efficacy, the painkiller could be used by people addicted to other opioids, including oxycodone.

In 2010, Zogenix bought the right to market Zohydro in the United States from another company, Elan, the article notes. The following year, a company named Alkermes, which makes Vivitrol, bought a unit of Elan that included Zohydro. The deal included the existing agreement with Zogenix.

Alkermes provides financial support to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, a leading professional group representing substance abuse experts, according to the newspaper. Dr. Stuart Gitlow, president of the group, told The New York Times he had been unaware of Alkermes’s involvement with Zohydro, adding the group would ask for more information from the company and then decide what, if anything, it will do about the situation.

Some law enforcement agencies and addiction experts have voiced concern that approval of a pure hydrocodone drug will lead to an increase in overdoses.

4 Responses to Zohydro to be Manufactured by Same Company That Makes Addiction Medicine

  1. Jerry | March 19, 2014 at 10:28 am

    As far as the whole “abuse deterrent” designs are concerned…. Those are a falsification put in place to make the average person feel more comfortable. Any addict with just a TINY amount of effort can thwart ALL “abuse deterrents” on the market today.
    So, my main question is this: why should law abiding citizens be denied access to medications which may be the ONLY source of semi-normalcy they are EVER able to obtain just because some drug addicts choose to misuse it?
    The laws in this country sometimes baffle me. What rational minded group of people would EVER say, “Let’s punish the good people in an effort to make things a LITTLE more difficult for those that break the law.”
    And as ANY long-time drug addict will tell you, oxycodone feels MUCH better than hydrocodone ESPECIALLY since it takes FAR more than 50mg of hydrocodone to REALLY get going…. Senator Manchin (West Virginia, I believe) is demonizing this god-send of a medication in order to get it ripped out of the hands of people who REALLY need it… This is nothing more than a corporate ploy to destroy their competition… Look into who Senator Manchin’s daughter is…… She is the CEO (I believe that’s her title) of Mylan Pharmaceuticals…. You know, Zogenix’s competitor… This is a PERFECT example of how American Politics fails the people!

    • Craig | April 4, 2014 at 9:36 pm

      Jerry….you took the words right out of my mouth. So many people actually need medications like this in order to just get through the day without being in excruciating pain. And for government reps to decide weather or not it’s ok to obtain these types of medications is absolutely ridiculous. Being someone who has had multiple surgeries due to an IED I came across in Afghanistan, I take 30mg of oxy 4 times a day and sometimes that isn’t even enough to dull the pain in my back and legs.

  2. Jim Ellis | April 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I am a long time addict and I am amazed to see that we are in control of how opiates may hit the market. I have been in recovery for some time now and I cant believe that they are more worried about if us the addicts will be able to get high of of this new med. Instead of worrying about the people that may really need this med that dont misuse drugs. Only in America..

  3. Patrick | April 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    It’s absurd for them to worry about a few addicts that are going to get any drug they can to abuse i suffer chronic pain and wouldl love on pill to help me get threw it

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