- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts health regulators have sent a letter to doctors and other health care providers outlining the decision to ban the prescribing and dispensing of the painkiller Zohydro.

The Public Health Council approved the ban last week after Gov. Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency in response to the state’s growing epidemic of heroin overdoses and opioid addiction.

Zohydro is a single-ingredient hydrocodone drug recently approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Patrick said he fears the pill could add to Massachusetts’ spike in overdose deaths.

The letter dated March 31 explains that doctors cannot write Zohydro prescriptions to be filled in other states and cannot order the drug for patients in hospitals or extended care facilities.


San Diego-based Zogenix, which makes Zohydro, has criticized the ban, saying it will add to patient suffering.