Hydrocodone Combination Products rescheduled as C-II

Hydrocodone combination drugs will become Schedule II in September. While the rescheduling appears to have been long overdue, it is by no means a solution to the prescription drug abuse problem. Rescheduling will not decrease the demand for these drugs. What this step will accomplish is limiting the number of fraudulent prescriptions and refills called in by abusers pretending to be the prescriber’s agent, etc. While some may argue that the new restrictions will limit access to these drugs by chronic pain patients because each prescription must be written by the prescriber, this argument is rather unpersuasive as Schedule II medications can be prescribed electronically through EPCS which arguably offers more security and accountability than phone and fax transmissions without inconveniencing the patient or the prescriber. 



2 thoughts on “Hydrocodone Combination Products rescheduled as C-II

  1. I went to my pharmacy to renew my prescription today to be told not so nicely “the DEA just passed a new law, and you can’t have your pain meds, due to the change in the law” I suffer in pain most of the day even though I have Vicodin for pain, but wanting to feel I am not going to over medicate myself. Some times I can’t get out of bed, and would not have a quality of life without my pain medication, but I know people abuse, sell, and misuse these drugs, but what about someone like me that really need the medication. Now you are forced to pay a bill to see the doctor every month, and what if your doctor is a great distance from you. who in the hell was suppose to warn me of this change? I watch CNN EVERY DAY, AND NIGHT AND HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THIS NEW LAW. I RECEIVED 20 CALLS TO REMIND ME TO VOTE, FIVE KNOCKS AT MY DOOR TO REMIND ME TO VOTE, BUT NO CALL TO ADVISE ME OF THIS.

    • Rhoda,
      Thank you for posting your concern. It is unfortunate that many chronic pain patients are experiencing problems obtaining their medication due to the increased scrutiny aimed at the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. The abuse of prescription drugs is reaching epidemic proportions and thus we are seeing increased regulatory presence in this area. The rescheduling, by itself, does not necessarily affect access to medication for legitimate patients, albeit it does affect the methods in which your doctor can prescribe them. I do not know what state are you in, but CA physicians can issue multiple prescriptions for up to 90 days cumulative supply of Schedule II products, thus obviating the necessity to make a monthly visit. Nevertheless, it is probably advisable for a chronic pain patient to be assessed at least every three month anyway. There are also numerous non-opioid treatment modalities for chronic pain that can be utilized.


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