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State Orders More Restrictions for Painkiller


BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is taking additional steps to restrict use of Zohydro, a new prescription painkiller, amid concerns over potential abuse.

State Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett confirmed Wednesday that the dentistry and pharmacy boards have approved new regulations governing how the hydrocodone-based narcotic is prescribed.

The Board of Registration in Dentistry voted Tuesday to require dentists evaluate a patient’s substance abuse history and current medications and provide a “letter of medical necessity” to the pharmacy before prescribing Zohydro. The state’s medical board issued similar regulations to doctors last month.

Meanwhile, the Board of Registration in Pharmacy voted Wednesday to ban pharmacists from dispensing Zohydro if they do not receive the required letter from the prescribing doctor or dentist.

Zogenix, the drug’s San Diego-based maker, has filed a federal lawsuit saying the new restrictions are unconstitutional.



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