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DiGirolamo Calls for FDA Chief to Resign over Approval of Powerful New Opioid
HARRISBURG – In response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to approve the powerful new drug, Zohydro, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks), who serves as chairman of the House Human Services Committee and is a long-time advocate for drug and alcohol prevention and treatment, has called for the termination of the agency’s chief.

“I am appalled and outraged at the recent decision of the FDA to approve the drug Zohydro over the 11-2 vote of its own Anesthetic and Analgesic Advisory Committee,” DiGirolamo said. “Our country is in the midst of a public health crisis driven by the prescription drug problem and the availability of this dangerous drug will only make things worse. Zohydro is a more powerful opiate than anything else currently available and is not formulated to be tamper resistant.”

In a letter today to Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Allentown) and Bob Casey Jr. (D-Scranton), along with the entire 18-member congressional delegation, DiGirolamo implores the federal officials to take action on three items:

• Immediately overturn the approval of the sale of Zohydro in the United States.
• Ask for the resignation of FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, under whose watch this decision was made.
• Establish a ban on leaving employment with the FDA and working in any capacity for a pharmaceutical company within 10 years.

In addition to his fight against powerful opioids, DiGirolamo will lead the Human Services Committee in a meeting on Tuesday to consider House Bill 2203, which would further restrict the prescribing of this dangerous drug in Pennsylvania.

“By working together and taking these proactive measures, I believe we can undoubtedly save lives,” DiGirolamo noted.

Representative Gene DiGirolamo
18th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
717.705.2094 /
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