By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you sought advice from experts to help decide something, and they overwhelmingly supported taking a course of action, you likely would not ignore it.
But that is exactly what the Food and Drug Administration did. The committee that advises the FDA on the safety of drugs, voted 11-2 against approving a new drug – Zohydro - without some way of keeping it from being dissolved, crushed or chewed, as injecting or inhaling it could kill you.
The FDA approved it anyway and it will now be available to doctors to dispense – the first prescription narcotic comprising a pure dose of hydrocodone, the main ingredient in the painkiller Vicodin.
Our region is just now exhaling from the Oxycontin plague, another crushable painkiller.
People find ways to abuse prescription drugs, and the societal toll it takes is brutal.
Opening the doors to more trouble seems like a head scratcher.
We applaud Representative Hal Rogers and other lawmakers who are pushing legislation to revoke FDA approval of Zohydro.
Short of that, the agency owes it to us, the people who fund them, to tell us what measures they will put in place to ensure they are not going to fuel another potential drug epidemic, while at the same time providing safe relief for patients with chronic pain.
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