Gov. Shumlin, Vermont mayors urge FDA to withdraw approval of Zohydro ER
March 16, 2014
MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin and most of the state’s mayors today called on Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to withdraw the FDA’s approval of Zohydro ER, a drug significantly stronger than traditional hydrocodone.
“We remind you that our state, and many others, are currently battling an opiate and heroin addiction crisis, doing everything within our power to prevent and treat the dangerous disease of addiction, and strengthen laws to keep these deadly drugs – and the crimes they bring – out of our communities,” the group said in a letter to Commissioner Hamburg.
Those joining the Governor on the letter are St. Albans Mayor Liz Gamache, Montpelier Mayor John Hollar, Barre Mayor Thomas Lauzon, Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras, Newport Mayor Paul Monette, Winooski Mayor Mike O’Brien, and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger. The group said introducing a significantly more powerful drug like Zohydro to the market will exacerbate the already deadly crisis.
Gov. Shumlin said he understands the need for pain medications on the market, and appreciates that Zohydro might be effective for patients who cannot use other pain therapies that combine acetaminophen. That said, the Governor believes the risks of diversion and addiction from this powerful opiate outweigh the benefits.