NH Senate Commerce Committee to Consider Moratorium on Zohydro

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Sanborn amendment would ban the hydrocodone pain pill for up to 18 months

Concord, NH - Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford, announced today that he plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit the use or distribution of the painkiller Zohydro in New Hampshire for up to 18 months. 

Zohydro became the only pure hydrocodone pain pill available on the market following approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) late last year.  Since then, attorneys general from 28 states, including New Hampshire, have asked the FDA to reassess its decision and federal legislation has been filed that would require the agency to prohibit the drug.  Massachusetts, Vermont, New York and other states have also taken or are considering action to restrict or prohibit the drug.

“As the state continues to struggle with a growing heroin epidemic, driven in part by a widespread availability of cheap and addictive prescription painkillers over the last decade, I believe the legislature must take a close look at highly addictive drugs like this one that could pose serious new or additional health risks to our population,” said Sanborn.

The Senator will offer an amendment (1322s) to House Bill 584, relative to covered prescription drugs, which would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to impose a year and a half moratorium on the drug.  Under the amendment, the moratorium would be lifted if Zohydro becomes available in an abuse-deterrent form or when either Congress or the federal Department of Health and Human Services takes action on requests to overturn the FDA’s decision.

“By pressing pause on this drug in its current form, I am hopeful that we can encourage the manufacturer to move quickly to bring an abuse-deterrent formula to market to assist patients in need of relief while also protecting the public, and particularly our young people, from the dangerous consequences of potential diversion, misuse and abuse of this drug,” continued Sanborn”

The Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing on the amendment on Tuesday, April 15th at 3:00 P.M.  Copies of the amendment will be available at today’s Commerce Committee hearing and can also be found attached.

“The public hearing on this amendment will be an opportunity for the committee to hear from both sides of this issue to ensure we are moving forward with a policy that carefully balances the needs of patients with our responsibility to protect public health and safety,” concluded Sanborn.


ATTACHMENT: Senate Amendment 1322s