FDA's Hamburg Defends Painkiller Zohydra

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg defended the approval of controversial new painkiller Zohydro to a Senate panel last week, claiming the benefits of the drug outweigh the risk.

Zohydro is the first single-ingredient hydrocodone drug cleared for U.S. patients, containing five times more of the narcotic than previously available combination pills. Critics and lawmakers fear the drug will further the country's epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

Additionally, critics point out that the painkiller will be made by Zogenix - the same company that manufactures Vivitrol, a drug used to treat patients with opiod addictions.

According to the FDA, Zohydro is an important drug to help patients suffering from acute and chronic pain management.

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