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.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. rs says:

    i’m tired of parents like this who think the world should bend to them because something bad happened to their kid. why don’t you try parenting your kids and teaching them the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse? if your kids respect you, they won’t want to disappoint you and they won’t do those things. don’t try to police the drug companies and prevent responsible people from being able to take a painkiller just because your son made a deadly mistake.

  2. Karla Kirchner says:

    Instead of going after our medicines to keep your kids in line, why not go after the alcohol? After all, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, it’s the alcohol that kills and leads to other drugs. So I can’t get the help I need because you can’t control your kids. Thanks!

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