A new painkiller set to hit the market in March is coming under heavy fire from doctors and lawmakers warning of its powerful ability to kill.
Although the opiate Zohydro was ultimately approved by the US Food and Drug administration, that endorsement went against the recommendation given by the agency’s own advisory panel. The panel voted 11 – 2 against approving the drug, but the FDA argued its availability is necessary to help patients unfazed by current medication.
The new drug hasn’t become available yet, but a group of more than 40 doctors is hoping to preempt its release by urging the FDA to reconsider its decision. According to the letter penned by the doctors, Zohydro is five to 10 times stronger than its nearest equivalent, Vicodin, and has the potential to cause a severe rise in overdose deaths.
The doctors warned that the drug could potentially kill an individual after taking only two Zohydro capsules. A child, meanwhile, could suffer a fatal overdose from just one pill.