Zohydro is a new product that is simply hydrodocone with no other active ingredients. It is the first such “single entity” hydrocodone formulation approved by the FDA. The approval led to an uproar, as addiction treatment professionals questioned the wisdom of approving yet another super-powerful, addicting opioid pain killer.
To make matters even worse, the “Extended Release” Zohydro ER does not utilize “crush-proof” technologies to prevent abuse. If crushed and snorted or injected, a single Zohydro ER is capable of delivering a super high dose of almost pure hydrocodone. Addiction treatment professionals believe this will lead to abuse on a scale similar to the Oxycontin abuse, the last big “blockbuster” addicting prescription pain killer.
We reported on the Zohydro approval, and we also reported when Senator Joe Manchin proposed a ban on Zohydro. Then we got this abrasive comment on that post:
Joe Manchin has the largest hydrocodone plant in the world in West Virginia. His largest contributor makes hydrocodone oxycontone morphine etc. Your a tool for big pharma…
Well, not wanting to be a “tool for Big Pharma”, we took a closer look. It didn’t take long to discover a claim on a web site that Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan (a big manufacturer of generic oxycodone and hydrocodone products) is Senator Joe Manchin’s daughter. Really? The Senator and former Governor of West Virginia is proposing a ban on the very chemicals his family has profited from for many years, except only for a specific branded version that is likely to be in tremendous demand if approved?
Yes, indeed. Campaign funding website Open Secrets reports that Mylan is one of the largest contributors to Senator Joe Manchin politically. Wikipedia says Mylan was perhaps the “most dispensed” pharmaceutical brand in the world at one time, with manufacturing based in Morgantown, West Virginia. Wikipedia also casts a very shady light onto Joe Manchin’s daughter, the CEO of Mylan, recounting stories of bitter fighting and scandal surrounding an MBA she said she had, but the University claimed she did not. Until later, when it revised the records, and then the President resigned amidst the scandal. A President who allegedly had consulted to Mylan, and was a family friend of Joe Manchin.
Wow… what a mess. It seems that contributed comment was rather brash, but worthy of attention. Joe Manchin clearly suffers from the appearance of a conflict of interest. His daughter, CEO of Mylan, clearly suffers a tarnished reputation when it comes to her integrity and trustworthiness. And she is CEO of one of the largest suppliers of addictive pharmaceuticals. According to Wikipedia Heather Bresch is deeply involved politically, with all sorts of involvement with the FDA that could look very positive, or could look like protectionist endeavors:
This all looks like very messy business. None of the previously highlighted personas seems to be reliably genuine, except for the addiction treatment professionals. They warned us about Zohydro, and complained that maybe we don’t need to approve yet another addicting opioid painkiller intended for end-stage pain-filled terminal clinical situations, until we can be sure it won’t end up one of the best selling drugs of all time, just like Oxycontin.
- West Virginia blog blasts Mylan and Senator, over Fentanyl patch
- Open Secrets reports campaign contributions from Mylan to Joe Manchin ($127,500)
- Addiction treatment professionals warn us about Zohydro and opioid addiction risks (via Slideshare)
- Zohydro approved
- Zohydro ban proposed by Joe Manchin