August 22, 2014   The Drug Enforcement Administraton has moved “all pharmaceuticals containing hydrocodone currently on the market in the United States”  from Schedule III to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act —0ver the objections of most working pharmacists.

Last year an FDA advisory committee voted 19–10 to recommend moving Hydrocodone Combination Products (HCPs) from Schedule III to Schedule II, deeming its addictive potential greater that had been previously recognized.  FDA passed the recommendation to Health and Human Services, which recommended the rescheduling to DEA.

The American Pharmaceutical Association and other druggists’ groups protested the resked in a letter that stated:

“The vast majority of patients taking hydrocodone do so legitimately. HCPs play a key role in acute and chronic pain management and helping patients engage in the activities of daily life. Rescheduling HCPs will have far-reaching consequences for millions of Americans who legitimately rely on them for short-term and chronic pain.”

“Pharmacies and distributors will have to comply with stricter storage and handling laws for Schedule II controlled substances, and such requirements may cause delays in maintaining an adequate supply of HCPs.”

Plus costs will rise for patients and pharmacists. 

Attention Opioid Users: O’Shaughnessy’s is looking into the drug companies’ promotion of the semi-synthetics hydrocodone and buprenorphine as substitutes for morphine and codeine.  We would appreciate hearing from knowledgable sources as to whether the effects differ (between the semi-synthetics and the poppy’s unmodified compounds), and if so, how. Confidentiality guaranteed.  Fred Gardner