Gregory Alan Smith, M.D. on The Doctors


The Drs TV: Killer Pain Medication?

The Doctors: Is Zohydro Dangerous?

The Doctors discussed a controversial new pain medication. Every day, 40 people die from a prescription pain killer overdose. More people die every year from prescription drug overdose than cocaine and heroin combined. A new drug has doctors concerned the number may rise. The drug is called Zohydro.

It's 5 to 10 times stronger than Vicodin, making it potentially deadly. One pill is powerful enough to kill a small child. The FDA approved the drug, even though its own advisory counsel voted 11 to 2 against it. Now, Massachusetts has banned the drug and is facing a lawsuit from Zohydro's parent company over whether their ban is unconstitutional.

The Doctors: Is Zohydro Dangerous?

But did Massachusetts get it right? Dr. Gregory A. Smith, a pain management specialist who is lobbying against Zohydro, joined The Doctors over satellite. He said that this drug was like "throwing gasoline on a bonfire." He said this drug "will make the Oxycontin epidemic look like child's play." The 50 milligram strength of Zohydro is the equivalent of 10 Vicodins. It can be crushed or snorted. There's no anti-tampering devices in this medication.

Dr. Smith said that this medication does have a place in the market, but they need to take it back and reformulate it to make it safer. He also said the people who make Zohydro know this and are already reformulating it, but because it will take so long to get the new version of the drug out there, they just want to get the drug out there to recoup the money spent developing the drug.

Dr. Greg Smith, M.D.
March 31, 2015
The Doctors
6min 27sec