FDA Moves To Tighten Prescribing Limits On Vicodin, Other Hydrocodone Pain Meds

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended that the most widely prescribed and abused painkillers be made Schedule II drugs, which would restrict when the oft-abused narcotics can be prescribed, and by whom.

The Wall Street Journal: FDA Recommends New Limits On Pain Drugs
The Food and Drug Administration Thursday recommended imposing far more severe restrictions on the prescribing of the most commonly used narcotic painkilling drugs in the U.S., an effort to combat their widespread abuse. The move will fundamentally change the use of medicines taken by millions of Americans to alleviate acute pain, such as broken bones or following dental surgery (Burton and Martin, 10/24).

Bloomberg: U.S. Recommends Tighter Control On Hydrocodone Pain Pills
Vicodin and other hydrocodone-based painkillers, the most popular pharmacy drugs in the U.S., would be placed under stricter prescribing limits to curb abuse, in a policy reversal by the Food and Drug Administration.  The FDA agreed to recommend by early December reclassifying the pills as a Schedule II substance, Janet Woodcock, director of the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement (Edney and Lopato, 10/25).

The Hill: FDA Moves To Tighten Rules On Painkiller
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is shifting its policy on how patients can obtain painkillers.  Hydrocodone drugs, such as Vicodin, have long had less stringent prescribing regulations, but that could all change in early 2014, the regulator said Thursday (Wilson, 10/24).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.