On August 22, 2014 the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued a final ruling on rescheduling Vicodin, Lortab, Norco and generic hydrocodone combination products from Schedule III to Schedule II. The Final Rule states, ” With the issuance of this final rule, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration reschedules hydrocodone combination products from schedule III to schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.”
Metropolitan Drug Commission sat down with WBIR last week to discuss the details of the new law going into effect in 44 days on October 6, 2014.
This is great news and puts more restrictions on the drug. Essentially, Schedule II’s cannot be called into a pharmacy. A patient must either have a written prescription or the doctor’s office can send the Rx electronically. Patients cannot have automatic refills on schedule II’s-a new prescription has to be written every month.
Adderall and Ritalin are already schedule II, both used to treat ADD and ADHD. It will cause some inconvenience for those who have chronic conditions and are on long-term therapy. Not only will it prevent abuse and fraudulent prescription, but also provide greater safety and monitoring of these powerful narcotics.
Drug overdoses are the leading cause of unintentional deaths in Tennessee. We hope that this will prevent overdoes and save lives through more frequent physician over site.
It’s important for everyone to know that the DEA has yet to publish guidance for physicians and pharmacies on how to handle remaining refills for hydrocodone combination products that have already been prescribed.
To see the full ruling, please visit Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products From Schedule III to Schedule II.