'Zo-Hydro' Contains Pure Hydrocodone

More effective painkiller draws criticism over its addictive qualities.
2:18 | 01/01/12

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Transcript for 'Zo-Hydro' Contains Pure Hydrocodone
Some doctors are hailing it as the strongest pain -- yet to help Americans battling chronic pain but many others say it would instead open a pandora's box of new concerns chief among them. Addiction here's ABC's Ron Claiborne tonight. The powerful new painkiller would be aimed at people like Kelly -- rocker who suffers from intense migraine headaches -- -- -- Feeling like spears are coming through my is. Currently undergoing testing in patients and so Hydro contains pure hydra -- down it can be as much as ten times stronger than by command. So gen X one -- four companies developing the drug. Told ABC news so Hydro represents a potentially safer option. Because it does not contain acetaminophen. And drug associated with serious liver toxicity but critics say so Hydro would only -- a powerful. And unnecessary drug to the nation's abundant supply of painkillers do you believe -- so Hydro is a dangerous painkiller dangerous to the public. When you pack this amount of -- narcotic to a single pill. It's very easy for somebody to overdose and die from it there's also the potential for addiction -- terrific business model of a medication like this gets -- prescribed to -- patient. Many people will be on the -- the medication for the rest of their life. An estimated 151000. People die each year from overdosing on prescription painkillers. According to the centers for disease control and law enforcement officials -- painkiller use and abuse to waves of violent crime. And a -- -- pharmacy break -- just yesterday an off duty federal alcohol tobacco and firearms agent. Was killed on Long Island New York the robber who was also killed. Was demanding OxyContin. But so gen -- is so Hydro could be a crucial new weapon against chronic pain. Critics say it's one painkiller the nation's medicine cabinets don't need. And Ron Claiborne joins us on the desk here in New York -- if and when this drug is approved in the coming year what kind of safeguards will be in place given all the concern out. There -- David if it is approved them almost certainly will be a class two medication which means that -- -- -- filled and refilled. Each time -- to go back to your position instead of getting an automatic five refills which is done for most painkillers now so it'll be much more restrictive. If it is approved.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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