Saturday, October 26, 2013

FDA Recommends Stricter Prescribing on Hydrocodones to Schedule II

National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, October 24, 2013

FDA recommended stricter controls on hydrocodone medications today. Many people know them by name (Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Anexsia, Lortab, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Norco, Zydone). In a move by the FDA that many people hoped would not happen, people with chronic pain have woman with back painbeen dealt a strong blow.

In January 2013, an advisory panel of experts to the Food and Drug Administration FDA Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee articlevoted to toughen the restrictions on painkillers like Vicodin that contain hydrocodone, the most widely prescribed drugs in the country. Significant increase in pain research to discover better and more appropriate treatments would balance the unfair burden this decision makes on people with chronic pain conditions. Congress, NIH, and the FDA cannot turn their backs on 100+ million people with chronic pain conditions. Increased effort to address addiction and abuse of medications containing opioids is needed.

Rescheduling hydrocodones from Schedule III to Schedule II will have sweeping consequences for doctors, pharmacists and patients. Refills without a new prescription would be forbidden, as would faxed prescriptions and those called in by phone. Only written prescriptions from a doctor would be allowed. Distributors would be required to store the drugs in special vaults.

To read the complete notice on the Federal Register, click here.

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