There is no doubt that the proper dosage and usage of medication can go a long way towards helping individuals who suffer from conditions such as depression and anxiety. Even dangerously psychotic conditions that could lead persons to harm themselves or others can be greatly improved with the right medication.
When a person is suffering from physical pain that is simply too much for over-the-counter medicine, prescription strength solutions are also available.
However, a problem arises when medication prescribed for various conditions has the potential to be abused or to cause more harm than good to the patient. The abuse of prescribed drugs along side entirely illegal drugs is a serious problem for the United States today.
A new prescription painkiller is feared to not only potentially contribute to this ongoing problem, some medical professionals think it has the potential to be the most disastrous prescription drug approved to date. That is the fundamental argument in a letter to Margret Hamburg, commissioner at the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The letter was written by a group of doctors who came together to voice their concerns about the drug Zohydro ER. Their argument against the drug's approval is said to "echo" that of members of Congress and State Attorneys General.
Zohydro is an opiate that packs 5 to 10 times the power of Vicodin. It is also, according to various legal and medical experts, far too dangerous a substance for the FDA to have gifted its seal of approval.
I wrote my congressmen and senators several months ago asking for action to stop Zohydro. Glad it's getting some press now.
— Omar Manejwala, M.D. (@drmanejwala) February 28, 2014
There is already concern about the number of opiates being subscribed to patients in the United States. The letter touched on the startling fact that while Americans account for 5% of the global population, the country is consuming the vast majority of the world's opiate-based prescription drugs— anywhere from 84 to 99% in some cases.
But Zohydro is a new beast all together. If a person has never taken opioids in their life and they accidentally overdose on Zohydro, it would only take TWO pills to kill them. If a small child accidentally swallowed a Zohydro pill, the single dose would be fatal.
When a drug is that potent and that lethal, it is seriously questionable that the FDA would allow it to be sold legally to American citizens.
Image via Wikimedia Commons