FDA Advises Tighter Controls on Hydrocodone-Containing Drugs

November 15, 2013 | Physician Practice News

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to recommend tighter controls on the prescription of common narcotic painkillers to reduce the rates of overdose deaths associated with them, states an October 24, 2013, New York Times article. FDA recommends reclassifying drugs containing a combination of hydrocodone and over-the-counter pain medications as schedule II rather than schedule III medications, a change that would require patients to obtain prescriptions directly from their provider. The classification change could reduce the number of refills of hydrocodone-containing drugs that patients may obtain without seeing a provider by half and may prevent some medical professionals, such as nurse practitioners, from being eligible to prescribe them.

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