News Feature | April 14, 2014

Zogenix Corrects Misinformation About Zohydro

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Zogenix released a press release today confronting what it calls “rampant misinformation” about its painkiller oral drug Zohydro ER. The company emphasized the important patient needs its drug fills, in particular for those who are in chronic pain.

Zohydro ER is the only FDA-approved extended-release, oral formulation of hydrocodone without acetaminophen intended for the management of pain reaching levels that necessitate round the clock, long term opioid treatment and for which no alternative treatments exist. The drug drew the ire and criticism of many opponents as well as support from regulatory authorities. Among the drug’s most prominent opponents is Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who issued a state ban against the drug on the grounds of a public health crisis declaration.

The company has since then implemented a series of measures to defend its product, including taking legal action in federal court against the Governor’s state ban on Zohydro. In addition, Zogenix made the following statements regarding Zohydro:

  • Zohydro ER is no more potent than Vicodin (or other immediate release hydrocodone tablets with acetaminophen) on a per milligram basis.
  • Zohydro ER is equally as potent as oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin); and less potent than many other commonly prescribed opioids including oxymorphone, hydromorphone and fentanyl on a per milligram basis.
  • The highest dosage strength of Zohydro ER is lower than the highest dosage strength of OxyContin and other commonly prescribed extended-release opioids on a per milligram basis.
  • In comparison to other opioids, the amount of Zohydro ER that will be available represents less than 0.3 percent of the total quantity available of the majority of opioid pills/capsules in 2014.

Zogenix asserted that its product deserves to be judged on its medical merits and benefits, not on the basis of media reports. The company also said it will continue to distribute accurate information to address common misconceptions about Zohydro. “On behalf of patients and the doctors who serve them, Zogenix will continue to demand due process and fair treatment for our medications and our company. We are dedicated to responsibly serving people suffering with severe chronic pain and the health care professionals who treat them, while doing our very best to set a new standard of transparency and commitment in delivering on our promise to patients,” Zogenix concluded in its press release.