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Judge OKs request to stop Massachusetts Zohydro ban

A federal judge ruled Monday that the Massachusetts ban on painkiller Zohydro cannot continue and granted an injunction from the drug's maker.

Massachusetts State House boston A minimum wage increased passed on Wednesday for Massachusetts.
Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Despite objections from the state and family members of drug addicts, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday that the Massachusetts' ban on controversial painkiller Zohydro cannot continue.

Judge Rya Zobel heard arguments from the state and the drug maker during a hearing Monday morning in federal court where a half dozen mothers of drug addicts from the group Learn to Cope showed up to watch the proceeding. Zobel issued a written ruling on Tuesday.

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"Because I conclude that the Commonwealth’s emergency order is preempted by federal law, plaintiff’s motion is allowed," Zobel wrote.

Zobel's order goes into effect April 22.

In her ruling, Zobel outlines her reasoning, among which he lists as the injunction being in the public interest.

"[A]lthough the ban may prevent someone from misusing the drug, the ban prevents all in need of its special attributes from receiving the pain relief Zohydro ER offers," Zobel wrote.

The drug's maker, Zogenix, filed a motion in federal court last week seeking an injunction to the state's ban that came after Gov. Deval Patrick last monthdeclared a public health emergency because of an "epidemic of opiate abuse."

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
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