Hydrocodone drugs may get more serious classification
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin testified last week in support of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration rescheduling hydrocodone drugs to a more serious classification.
Following the Senate hearing, the FDA Drug Safety & Risk Management Advisory Committee voted to reschedule drugs containing hydrocodone. The recommendation will help guide the FDA in making a final decision.
“Rescheduling hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug will help prevent these highly addictive drugs from getting into the wrong hands,” Manchin said.
Manchin said that every town he has visited across West Virginia is affected by this critical problem in some way, shape and form.
“It seems that any 18 to 25 year old can go to any doctor, claim they have chronic pain and get a recurring prescription for 120+ of these pills per month,” Manchin said. “The high price people are willing to pay for these drugs on the street inevitably gives our young, drug dealing citizens more incentive to continue in their illegal behavior than to earn an honest living.”
Manchin said it was now in the FDA’s hands to help stop this epidemic.
Moving hydrocodone to a Schedule II drug means that patients would need an original prescription to get their pills refilled. Pills would be stored and transported more securely, and traffickers would be subject to increased fines and penalties.
In his testimony, he said: “I hope the FDA considers this matter in a balanced way, with physicians, addiction specialists, pharmacologists, and – most importantly – those personally affected by this epidemic having a chance to discuss the overwhelming data demonstrating the serious abuse of hydrocodone-combination products,”
“I have seen the effects of this addictive drug destroy too many communities and devastate too many families to ignore this growing nationwide problem,” Manchin said.
“I believe we have a responsibility to this great nation of ours – especially to our children and the generations to come – to win this war on prescription drugs,” he said.