January 29, 2013

Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are calling for stricter regulations on one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the country, hydrocodone. A story from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the move is being made to curb the current abuse rates of the highly addictive painkiller.

Hydrocodone is in a class of medication known as Opioids that also includes Morphine, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Methadone. There are roughly 131 million prescriptions written for Hydrocodone alone each year in the United States and it is consistently listed as one of the top two most-abused drugs in the country each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this abuse was responsible for 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, while 475,000 individuals experienced Drug Injuries associated with the medications that resulted in an emergency room visit.

These numbers are the reason behind officials with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) asking the FDA to reclassify the drug as a Schedule II medication, rather than a Schedule III. This would tighten restriction on how the drug can be prescribed. Currently a patient can have a prescription refilled each month for up to five months without revisiting a doctor. If the change is made, a patient would only be allowed to have a single 90-Day prescription.

The Dallas Personal Injury Attorneys with Ferrer Poirot Feller Daniel are hopeful the new regulation, if approved, will be successful in reducing the number of drug injuries that occur in the region each year.