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[ATG] AG Zoeller joins states’ call for HHS to overturn approval of Zohydro
Start Date: 3/26/2014 All Day
End Date: 3/26/2014
Entry Description

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller joined five other state attorneys general today in calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to overturn the recent approval of Zohydro ER.

A pure hydrocodone pill, Zohydro is 5 to 10 times more potent than currently available products like Vicodin or Lortab and is set to hit the market this month. The painkiller’s high potential for abuse prompted attorneys general from Indiana, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Maine to pen a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to reverse the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the drug.

In 2011, prescription drugs were blamed for the deaths of 718 Hoosiers, a nearly 10 percent increase from 2010, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Zohydro does not contain any abuse-deterrent properties, which means there is a high potential for users to crush, snort or inject this powerful drug,” Zoeller said. “Without the appropriate safeguards, the release of this drug could fuel the nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and undermine the progress made by so many. I join my colleagues in calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to use its regulatory authority and overturn the FDA’s decision.”

The FDA approved Zohydro last October despite its own advisory committee voting 11-2 in opposition of the drug being released. In November, Zoeller joined 28 other state attorneys general in asking the FDA to reconsider its approval of the drug. It has been reported that Zohydro can be prescribed in pills ranging from 10 milligrams to as high as 50 milligrams and current hydrocodone products only range from 5 to 10 milligrams.

To combat prescription drug abuse in Indiana, Zoeller established the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force made up of state legislators, law enforcement, members of the medical community, health officials, pharmacists, state and local agencies and education providers. The goal of the task force is to significantly reduce the abuse of prescription drugs and to decrease the number of deaths associated with these drugs in Indiana.

Last year, Zoeller and the task force launched a statewide prescription drug abuse awareness campaign and website, www.BitterPill.IN.gov. The website serves as a one-stop-shop for information about prescription drug abuse and misuse including where to get help.

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Contact Information:
Name: Erin Reece
Phone: 317.232.0168
Email: erin.reece@atg.in.gov
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Attachments For This Entry:
    > Zohydro Letter to HHS
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Government
  • Agency Name
    Attorney General

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