BOSTON (AP) — A federal judge will hear arguments in a lawsuit claiming the state’s first-in-the-nation ban of Zohydro, a powerful new painkiller, is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel is expected to decide Monday whether to order an immediate but temporary halt to the ban, which is believed to be the first attempt by a state to block a federally-approved drug. The court would decide later if the ban should be permanently vacated.
Drug maker Zogenix argues that the ban is unconstitutional because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved Zohydro’s use for treatment of severe and chronic pain. The state argues that Zohydro will ‘‘exacerbate a severe public health crisis’’ in Massachusetts, where Gov. Deval Patrick has declared prescription drug abuse a public health emergency.