Final Word: New painkiller controls a total joke

Mar 27, 2014, 9:35 PM | Updated: 9:58 pm

America has a real problem with prescription painkillers.

In the past 20 years, the number of prescritions written for painkillers has tripled. Fatal overdoses have reached epidemic levels, exceeding those from heroin and cocaine combined.

Looking at the health burden around the world, legal painkillers are a bigger problem than cocaine. It’s no surprise high-income nations that can afford to develop and prescribe such medicines, like Vicodin and Oxycontin, have the worst problem, with 20 times the abuse of poor nations.

None of this should come as a surprise, if you’ve visited a doctor for any type of pain in the last 10 years. We don’t know how to say no in this country, and it’s obvious when we get our proscriptions.

I’ve been offered Vicodin for my back more times than I can count. I never took any. It seemed too scary.

But man, it sure is available.

Here’s what might come as a surprise — the FDA has approved a painkiller BETTER at killing pain than Oxycontin. Ten TIMES better.

Its called Zohydro, and if experts are correct, it may prove 10 times deadlier than Oxy as well.

Oxycontin abuse is estimated to kill 100,000 people per year world wide. It doesn’t even HAVE to be abused to kill, but it makes it easier.

Four years ago, Oxy’s maker recognized that too many people were crushing it and snorting it to get a quicker high so they made it crush-proof. Why wouldn’t you, as a responsible drug manufacturer, do everything you could to make sure people are make your product turn deadly?

Ask the makers of Zohydro. They haven’t done it.

The most powerful painkiller available in this country is crushable, snort-able and thus entirely abuse-able. It’s so bad that the FDA’s own advisory committee voted 11-2 against approving it for use at all.

Zohydro is made by Zogenix. To make it look like Zogenix CARES if it’s newest drug is abused, it announced it is appointing a board of experts to monitor the drug’s use. On the board are addiction and law enforcement specialists as well as doctors. Sounds great.

Except five out of the seven experts on the board have worked for Zogenix, and they will all be paid for their time. By Zogenix, of course.

What a joke.

Unless it’s your kid who gets addicted. That’s no laughing matter.

Karie Dozer

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Karie Dozer

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Final Word: New painkiller controls a total joke