Django Stevens 4 p.m., April 16
San Diego: Land of the Lotus-Eaters?
Local Pharmaceutical Company Plans Release of Super Painkiller, Hopes to Ease Suffering Brought On By Collapse of American Economy
"Zohydro - Because why would you want to feel what's coming?"
"The [men] started at once, and went about among the Lotus-Eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return..." - The Odyssey
San Diego Pharmaceutical company Zogenix is hoping to secure FDA approval for their new super-painkiller Zohydro sometime next year. The drug, which would be the first to contain the opiate hydrocodone unmixed with less intense painkillers such as acetaminophen, promises to provide ten times the pain relief, without the risk of liver damage that can come from extended acetaminophen use. "We're hoping to have it on the market by October," said Zogenix CEO Moe R. Fius, "just around the time the American public realizes that the housing market simply isn't going to recover, ever."
Zohydro has completed three rounds of patient testing, all of it performed on people who were either underwater on their mortgages, unemployed and over 45 years of age with no prospects for ever returning to their former income levels, or single mothers unable to go back to school. "The results were nothing short of amazing," remarks Fius. "Ordinarily, you'd expect these people to be weeping all the time, drinking themselves blind, or turning tricks in taxicabs just to make rent. In fact, the test groups given a placebo did all of those things, and worse. But the Zohydro patients spent their days humming, smiling, and swaying gently from side to side. If that's not a positive outcome, I don't know what is."
Critics worry that a drug as powerful as Zohydro will only worsen the problem of prescription drug abuse in America - a problem that has seen the fatality rate from such abuse triple in the past decade. "Well, that's certainly a rapid rise," grants Fius. "But calling it a problem - well, that's pretty judgmental, don't you think? I mean, we all have to go sometime. Which would you prefer - a blissful, painless jaunt or a grinding, agonizing journey? Trust me, things aren't going to get better from here on out. Except maybe if you're an investor in Zogenix."
Pictured: Blue lotus