SAN RAMON (CBS SF) – Four pharmaceutical companies are working on a pure version of the drug that’s in Vicodin, a move that has horrified a Bay Area woman who lost her son to prescription drug abuse two years ago.
Not everyone can take hydrocone pills, such as Vicodin, which mix a synthetic opiate with acetaminophen, or Tylenol, because it can be bad for their liver.
KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:
So the four companies, which includes Zogenix in San Diego, are racing to market the new pill that’s just pure hydrocodone.
The Zogenix drug is called Zohydro and it could be made available as early as next year.
That thought terrifies April Rovero of San Ramon, whose son died at Arizona State University two years ago from a recreational combination of hydrocodone and alcohol.
“Do we really need one right now when we have the worst epidemic, in terms of prescription drug abuse, ever?” she said. “Do we need another drug out there that’s going to lead us down a deeper and darker hole.”
Rovero now leads the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse
She said she wants Zohydro to be abuse resistant to keep people from crushing the pills to get around its timed-release feature. But a company spokeswoman said there’s no FDA-approved way to do that and the new pills will be safer for people with chronic pain, since they won’t contain anything but the pure pain-relieving drug.