Fall River Mayor William A. Flanagan is asking President Obama to intervene in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of the painkiller Zohydro.
In a letter released Monday, Flanagan urged the president to ask FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to either order San Diego-based drugmaker Zogenix to reformulate the drug or mandate its removal from the market entirely.
Governor Deval Patrick had tried to ban Zohydro in Massachusetts but a federal judge struck down his executive order as unconstitutional. Patrick has since issued stricter requirements for doctors prescribing the drug.
Public health officials say Zohydro, which contains up to five times the amount of narcotic hydrocodone previously available in pills, is susceptible to abuse because it can be easily crushed and then snorted or injected.
Zogenix has said it is working on an abuse-deterrent form of the drug.