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Summary

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Zohydro is a new and powerful pain reliever that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has just recently approved. The FDA explains that the drug is for patients who are having severe pain and need daily long-term treatment. However, Zohydro has come under strict scrutiny by the public because of it's potency. "New Super Powerful Pain Medication Meets Severe Criticism Despite Federal Approval" is an article on www.buzzfeed.com that states Zohydro contains ten times the amount of hydrocodone than Vicodin. The drug has been classified as a schedule II pain reliever meaning that it is only to be prescribed by a doctor and should be taken under supervision. The reasoning behind this classification is the fact that if the drug is used improperly there can be serious backlash such as addiction and health issues. The press release by the FDA only shows why they approved the drug and the positive and negative effects of it. But, the Buzzfeed article shows both sides the argument with one side agreeing with the approval of Zohydro, and the counterargument showing how dangerous the drug can be.

AnalysisEdit

Both articles discuss the topic of the new powerful pain reliever Zohydro. The main difference that you first notice between the two, is the fact that one is an actual press release from the FDA itself, and one is a shorter article with different pictures and links. The buzzfeed article is almost a summary of the press release and tries to relay the same message to the public but in a more generalized manner. Buzzfeed tones down the language unlike the FDA article "Zohydro ER conforms to updated labeling requirements for all ER/LA opioid analgesics"(FDA) in order to make the text more marketable to the reader. Since the FDA article is the original press release it is a reliable and accurate source, although it is not nearly as marketable to the public as the buzzfeed article. It includes loaded language and mostly applies only to the medical discourse community.

Another difference between the two articles is that while the buzzfeed article includes pictures and links to different sources, the FDA press release does not. The reason for this is because the author of the buzzfeed article used information from several different sources in order to convey the same message but in a different fashion. By including pictures the author is trying to keep the reader entertained while they are reading instead of feeling like they are reading an essay. Each reading tries to connect with the audience on separate levels. The FDA press release is appealing to those who already have some prior knowledge about the subject and are apart of that discourse community "Schedule II drugs can only be dispensed through a physician’s written prescription and no refills are allowed"(FDA), whereas the Buzzfeed article is attempting to appeal to anyone interested in reading about the topic "More than 40 organizations are urging the FDA to revoke approval of the drug"(Calvin, Buzzfeed). But why is each article structured as such? Since the press release is trying to appeal to the medical community, it uses large medical terms such as "Somnolence". They do this because this is the way people in the medical field communicate. It takes too long to explain the meaning behind words such as "Somnolence" so doctors use this means of communication to save time because they all have the same previous knowledge required to do so. On the other hand, Buzzfeed is a site that generally either turns news into a comedic version, or a more marketable one. This means that the information being read will not have as much loaded language and will be more enjoyable to the average reader, rather than a scholarly article. In this case, the Buzzfeed article doesn't just try to appeal to the medical community, but everyone.

Another major difference between the two articles is the content of both. The Buzzfeed source provides you with most of the same information as the press release but includes both sides of the argument at hand. It clearly shows how some are in favor of the approval of this drug, but it also provides why people are so upset about this decision "many pain experts believe that opiates should only be used to treat short-term severe pain and to ease the pain of a patient nearing the end of their life." (Calvin, Buzzfeed). This is not the case with the press release because it is not opinion based. The article only shows why the FDA approved the drug and it's possible effects without showing the argument.

Overall, these two different articles relay the same information by using two different methods. One is a scholarly source that attempts to appeal to a specific discourse community using specialized terminology, loaded language, and content. The other is almost a summary of the previous one, but it attempts to make the text more marketable by using pictures, links to other sites, and making sure the text is understandable for everyone.

Advice

Throughout my years of school I have done many writing projects but the medical field requires a specialized type of writing. Medical studies and research not only require some prior knowledge, but also the use of medical terminology. Doctors use the terminology they do because it is the way they communicate and is how they differentiate themselves from other discourse communities. The other major aspect of medical writing is that you cannot take sides because the information is meant to be factual and scholarly. All in all, my advice when writing in the medical field is to use the knowledge you have attained, stick to what you know to be true, and do not show favoritism towards certain aspects over others.

 Sources

http://www.buzzfeed.com/aaronc13/new-super-powerful-pain-medication-meets-severe-criticism-de

http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm372287.htm