Citing a public health emergency of prescription drug-related deaths, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick banned the sale of Zohydro on March 27th. This unprecedented action is the most aggressive measure taken so far to stop the pure hydrocodone drug, which entered the market last month. Zogenix, the maker of Zohydro, sued Massachusetts and got the ban overturned yesterday. The federal judge ruled that a state could not prohibit an FDA-approved drug, and that allowing states to do so “would undermine the FDA’s ability to make drugs available to promote and protect the public health.”
Other efforts to block Zohydro include Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s emergency order requiring prescribers to conduct a thorough medical evaluation and risk assessment before prescribing Zohydro. Several hospitals in Vermont and New Hampshire have refused to stock the drug. Also, 28 state attorneys general signed a letter asking the FDA to revoke the drug’s approval or require the drug to be more crush-resistant.