Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scanner Darkly

Critics voice concern about the approval of a new opioid painkiller: zohydro:
 The drug will be manufactured by the same company, Alkermes, that makes a popular medication called Vivitrol, used to treat patients addicted to painkillers or alcohol.
In addition, the company provides financial support to a leading professional group that represents substance abuse experts, the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
For some critics, the company’s multiple roles in the world of painkillers is troubling.
Dr. Gregory L. Jones, an addiction specialist in Louisville, Ky., said he had long been concerned about financial links between the group and the drug industry, adding that the Zohydro situation amplified those potential conflicts.
Dr. Stuart Gitlow, the current president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, said he had been unaware until now of Alkermes’s involvement with Zohydro. Dr. Gitlow, who is affiliated with Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said that the group would seek more information from Alkermes about the situation and then decide what, if anything, to do next.
Officials of Alkermes appear to recognize the issue they face. In recent years, the company has been trying to increase sales of Vivitrol, a form of a drug called naltrexone, that is used to treat both alcoholism and opioid addiction.
Shades of substance D and New Path. Does Alkermes also own a chain of drug rehab clinics?



No comments:

Post a Comment