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Health
'Frightening' new pain pill set to hit pharmacies
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'Frightening' new pain pill set to hit pharmacies

'Frightening' new pain pill set to hit pharmacies
Pill bottles

'Frightening' new pain pill set to hit pharmacies

A new painkiller approved by the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to be available to patients next month — but it seems not without a fight. Opponents of the pill call its potency frightening and say it will begin killing people as soon as it's released. 

"Over 40 health care consumer and addiction treatment groups want the FDA to revoke its approval of Zohydo, a hydrocodone-based drug. Zohydro was approved for treating chronic pain, but the coalition is concerned about the drug's potency and abuse potential." (Via WWLP)

A petition on Change.org calls Zohydro "the next OxyContin."

 And Wednesday the Fed Up! Coalition wrote a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg saying, "In the midst of a severe drug epidemic fueled by overprescribing of opioids, the very last thing the country needs is a new, dangerous, high-dose opioid."

And in December members of Congress sent a similar letter to the FDA, asking for the decision to be reviewed. (Via U.S. Congress)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of opioid-related deaths more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2010.

But CNN has a statement from the executive vice president and chief medical officer at Zogenix, the maker of Zohydro, who argues the benefits outweigh the risks. 

"We do not expect the introduction of Zohydro ER (extended release) to increase the overall use of opioids. ... In fact, prescription data from the last five years shows that total use of ER opioids is constant and independent of new entrants to the market."

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Last October the FDA upgraded hydrocodone-containing drugs from a Schedule 3 to Schedule 2 controlled substance, "which would increase the controls on these products." Schedule 1 are drugs considered to have the highest potential for abuse.

The change could be one reason the FDA is confident Zohydro will not contribute to the so-called epidemic. (Via KSHB)

Zohydro's label will feature warnings about abuse, misuse and addiction. The drug's makers are reportedly working on an abuse-resistant version expected to be released in the next few years. 

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The Latest News Headlines

  • A Jacksonville woman has been arrested on multiple charges, after getting into a fight at the Duval County Courthouse on West Adams Street.   According to the arrest report, on Monday, August 14, Ciara Roberts, 24, was allegedly hitting two victims, including one who was holding a child at the time. The report says Roberts then took the child and proceeded to hit the second victim, while still holding the child.   As officers took her into custody, Roberts allegedly kicked one of the victims again. Upon entering the courthouse, the report says she began actively resisting and pulling away from officers.   Roberts is now charged with child neglect, battery, and resisting an officer without violence.   One of the victims had bruising to her leg, while the other was left with a scratch on his head. Thankfully, no injuries were visible on the child.   JSO didn't reveal any information about why the fight started.
  • Volstead in downtown Jacksonville will remain open under new ownership, Jacksonville Business Journal reports. Owners of the speakeasy on West Adams Street announced it was closing Aug. 21 on Facebook. The Volstead’s co-founders said that the bar wasn’t closing for any financial reason, but because of poor health was hindering one of them from running the business any longer. After a social media outcry, Volstead patrons Dana Chen and her husband, George Cunningham, reached out to the Volstead. Over the last few weeks, they quietly negotiated a purchase deal, the Jacksonville Business Journal reports. Chen and Cunningham live in Atlantic Beach and own a real estate company. Chen told the Journal that they love everything the Volstead represents and that they want to carry on the legacy and keep the drinking spot going. The Volstead will not close its doors at any point. A party is planned for Sept. 1 to celebrate its continuation.
  • It's a bizarre story out of St. Augustine.   A 22-year-old woman is facing two misdemeanor charges, after interacting with a fisherman on Tuesday.   According to the offense report from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Alexandria Turner, was swimming in the ocean at the St. Johns County Pier, off of A1A, when she allegedly swam up to a man's fishing line, cussed him out, bite his line, and then swam away with the rigging.   When deputies arrived, the report says Turner, who smelled like alcohol, became belligerent and was verbally confrontational.   At one point, a deputy claims Turner screamed several times 'I am f****** naked', causing a scene, despite her being in a bikini at the time.   Turner is now charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence.
  • Baltimore has removed statues that honored the Confederacy in the city overnight. Crews worked in Wyman Park starting around midnight Wednesday to remove the Lee and Jackson monument.  >> Read more trending news  They took down the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson early Wednesday after the city council passed a resolution Monday that ordered the immediate destruction of the monuments, WBAL reported. The board cited the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia for the quick removal. “Destroyed. I want them destroyed, and as soon as possible. I want them destroyed,” city councilman Brandon Scott said Monday. The statues may be sent to Confederate cemeteries after Mayor Catherine Pugh reached out to the Maryland Historical Trust for permission to remove the monuments, WBAL reported. The removal didn’t come without cost. WBAL reported Monday that the bill could be between $1 million and $2 million. The city had four monuments to the Confederacy: a Confederate women’s monument, a soldiers’ and sailors’ monument, the Lee and Jackson monument and a statue of Robert Taney, a former Supreme Court Chief Justice who wrote the Dred Scott ruling in 1857, WRC reported. Baltimore isn’t the only area that is trying to remove its Confederate history.  North Carolina’s governor said he is trying to reverse a law that prohibits the removal or relocation of monuments in the state. Dallas’ mayor is looking at the city’s options. Tennessee’s governor called for the removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s bust. Forrest was an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans have spoken out about the removal of the monuments across the country. “These statues were erected over 100 years ago to honor the history of the United states. They’re just as important to the entire history of the U.S. as the monuments to our other forefathers,” Thomas V. Strain Jr. told WRC.
  • The parents of Heather Heyer, the woman killed Saturday in a protest against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, remembered the 32-year-old as a big-hearted, outspoken woman who wanted equality for all. >> Read more trending news About 1,000 mourners gathered Wednesday for Heyer’s memorial in downtown Charlottesville, the same city where police said Heyer was killed while protesting what was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade. Heyer’s death sparked outrage across the nation and reinvigorated the debate over race relations in America. >> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville “I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said at Wednesday’s memorial service. “We don’t all have to die. We don’t all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.” Since her daughter’s death, Bro said she’s received an outpouring of support from people wondering how to help the grieving family. She suggested that anyone wishing to help should follow Heyer’s example. “I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die,” Bro said. “This is not the end of Heather’s legacy. You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. What is there that I can do to make the world a better place? What injustice do I see?” Heather Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, remembered his daughter in an emotional speech to mourners as a passionate woman who always spoke her mind. >> Related: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack? “She wanted equality. And in this issue, on the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate,” he said. “And for my part – we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that’s what the Lord would want us to do. Just to stop -- just love one another.” He said he was particularly struck by the diversity of the group gathered to mourn his daughter. “I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room. That’s how Heather was. It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, if she loved you that was it – you were stuck,” he said with a shaky laugh. Police said Heyer was killed Saturday when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, slammed a car into two vehicles and protesters in Charlottesville. >> Related: Father of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer says he forgives James Fields Fields was described by his former high school teacher as a Nazi sympathizer. He traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the Unite the Right rally, a demonstration organized by white supremacists to oppose the removal of a Confederate memorial from Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park. Mark Heyer said shortly after his daughter’s death that he forgave Fields, because “as far as I’m concerned, he was deceived by the devil.” “My daughter was fighting for equal rights, demonstrating against hatred and doing what she thought was right,” Mark Heyer told the New York Post on Sunday. “I can’t hate the man who did this to her because that would make me as bad as the people who did this.”

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