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.

19 Responses

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    Barbara Hamilton

    December 17, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    I am retired have RX insurance, but my Zohydro still costs me $179.00 a month. Is there any help out there to reduce my cost.
    Thank you Barb

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    Michael

    February 12, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    I am a 100% service connected disabled veteran. I trust that explains the reality of my life and the pain I suffer every day. I have lived on Norco 10/325 eight tabs a day, for 14 years. Once again I see two problems. One:The “State” assumes it can legislate behavior of it’s citizens. People who want drugs will get them. Period. Many will die because of their personal choice. Period. You can debate it till you grow old and die and it will never change. Politicians will get up in front of a camera and claim “we are initiating new laws that will let us win the war on drugs!!” How can they do that with a straight face? The war on drugs was lost a very long time ago.
    Two: Again I see the GREED of corporate America. I could use Zohydro. The acetaminophen in the Norco I take can destroy my liver. Zohydro eliminates that problem. America corporations seem to have a habit of charging more money when they take an ingredient OUT of a product. For example; most products with low sugar or low salt cost more than the same product with the added ingredients. Less cost more. Now Zohydro has priced the cost of its medication far beyond the availability of anyone without insurance. The VA does not give Zohydro to Vets. They only give Norco and them tell you to take no more them 8 a day. The pain I feel easily needs 12 or more a day. It is not like the makers of Zohydro had to do extensive research and spend millions of dollars to get this drug to the market. All they did was leave out the acetaminophen. Yet, to fill my prescription would cost me over $1,000 a Month! Corporate policy of “less cost more” strikes yet again. In my youth I was drafted to go fight a war against a group that used bullets and bombs. In my old age I find I am still fighting a “group” that uses both greed and questionable laws to destroy my county. I will spend the rest of my life in pain that comes from my service to America, because of the greed of the makers of Zohydro. I hope they are oh so proud.

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    ruby

    October 11, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    I was on Lorset 10 650 for 15 yrs then they took them off the market to much Tylenol now norco 10 325 .they r junk minus well take a sugar pill.the Lorset helped alot.now the pain is horrible. My dr.dont want to give me the zohydro right now so I’m just gonna have to suffer.

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