Vermont Fights Against Zohydro Prescribing

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Vermont Fights Against Zohydro PrescribingGovernor Peter Shumlin of Vermont recently joined the many voices who are protesting the decision of the Food and Drug Administration in approving the drug Zohydro.  For those who may not be familiar with this medication, Zohydro is an opioid painkiller which is described as being ten times the strength of the well-known Oxycodone and Oxycontin. Although Zohydro can help many individuals with chronic pain, the drug can also develop an addiction on an individual who initially takes the drug as prescribed. Also, Zohydro (unlike many other time release tablets) can be easily abused, as it can be crushed to be snorted, injected or taken orally. Crushing these pills cancels out the time release mechanism, easily causing individuals to overdose. With the exceptional high rates of opioid based painkiller addictions been battled in the recent years without much results, many are in fear that Zohydro will escalate this epidemic.

Taking in consideration the abusive properties of Zohydro along with the boom in prescription painkiller addictions and overdoses which are still claiming many lives with death rates surpassing deaths caused by car accidents, it makes sense that the Governor released an emergency order to all healthcare professionals in his state. Although he is not banning the drug like Governor Deval Patrick from Massachusetts, he is requiring that certain protocols need to be followed before Zohydro is prescribed to a patient. The Governor’s action to regulate the prescribing power of health care providers comes as a safety measure in an effort to combat overdoses, stop the opioid based painkiller addiction epidemic from getting worse and help those who are already addicted.