Zogenix Seeks to Stop Massachusetts Ban on Painkiller

Zogenix Inc. (ZGNX), whose shares slumped after Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said he would ban its painkiller Zohydro over abuse concerns, sued to stop him, saying the move contradicted the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the medicine.

Zohydro, approved in October, doesn’t contain tamper-proof technology that other drugmakers use to prevent crushing and snorting of their pills, such as closely held Purdue Pharma LP’s OxyContin.

“When FDA approved Zohydro, it considered but rejected the idea of requiring the drug to utilize abuse-deterrent technology,” Zogenix said in the complaint, filed today in Boston federal court.

Zogenyx’s drug, made of pure hydrocodone, is intended as an alternative to Vicodin and others that mix hydrocodone with less-potent medicines such as aceteminophen. Patrick, in a March 27 statement, said Massachusetts faced “an epidemic of opiate abuse” and it would be treated as a public health crisis.

Zogenix shares fell 16 percent to $2.46 since Patrick’s announcement, when he said he would seek to stop physicians from prescribing the drug.

The governor’s “unilateral action was taken without any communication or advanced notice” after the company wrote him and requested a meeting to discuss the product, Zogenix said. The request wasn’t answered, the San Diego-based company said.

Patrick’s office declined to immediately comment today.

The case is Zogenix v. Deval Patrick; 14-11689; U.S. District Court; District of Massachusetts (Boston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Kary in New York at tkary@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Joe Schneider, Mary Romano

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.