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April 4, 2014

States revolt against powerful new painkiller

BARRE, Vt. (AP) — State officials fighting well-publicized battles against heroin and prescription drugs are revolting against a powerful new painkiller that some fear could make the battle even harder.

On Thursday, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced an emergency order that would make it harder for physicians to prescribe a new class of drugs that includes Zohydro.

Last week, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick banned Zohydro, the first time the state has ever banned a drug.

Late last year, 28 attorneys general urged the Food and Drug Administration to revoke the drug's approval or require the manufacturer to reformulate the drug to make it more difficult to abuse.

San Diego-based Zogenix, which makes Zohydro, says its drug no more potent than other hydrocodone medications and is taking steps to ensure doctors and patients understand its risks.

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