Hydrocodone products likely to become a schedule II drug by December 2014
Hydrocodone, an opioid, is used by millions of Americans suffering from conditions leading to chronic pain. Physicians prescribe the drug to improve the quality of life in their patients.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been concerned over the past few years as to the use and misuse of opioid products. Applying control mechanisms might allow genuine patients in chronic pain to have access to these products. In 2009, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to label these drugs from Schedule III to Schedule II. However, there was still large amount of hydrocodone products being misused. And now the US FDA wants a more restrictive recommendation. This is based on opinions from a large cross-section of public and expert bodies.
Accordingly, by December this year, the FDA would place a formal recommendation to the HHS to reclassify hydrocodone combination products into Schedule II in concurrence with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). This will ensure that only that hydrocodone is prescribed and used by appropriate set of patients.