FDA chief defends controversial Zohydra painkiller as criticism intensifies

Debate over a powerful new painkiller ratcheted up Thursday as the head of the Food and Drug Administration defended the drug’s approval and a West Virginia Senator responded with a bill to force it off the market.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told Senate lawmakers that the recently-launched Zohydro fills an “important and unique niche” for treating chronic pain. Her agency has been under fire for clearing the drug since December, amid concerns from lawmakers, addiction specialists and others that the drug will exacerbate the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

Posted in FDA.