Maker of highly criticized painkiller asks FDA to approve new, harder-to-abuse version

Markets Associated Press

The maker of the much-debated painkiller Zohydro is seeking approval of a harder-to-abuse version of its drug which, if approved, could replace the currently marketed version of the pill by next spring.

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San Diego-based Zogenix said Wednesday it submitted a Food and Drug Administration application for the new Zohydro formulation that is designed to be more difficult to snort or inject — two common methods for abusing painkillers. Zogenix expects approval in the first quarter of 2015, which would allow the drugmaker to replace the older version of Zohydro in the second quarter.

Zohydro has been criticized by health advocates, politicians and law enforcement officials since it became the first single-ingredient hydrocodone drug ever approved for U.S. patients last fall.