Alexandria, Va. Oct. 25, 2013 - National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement in response to news that the Food and Drug Administration is moving to reschedule Vicodin® and other hydrocodone-containing products from Schedule III to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act:
"The FDA's reported decision will likely pose significant hardships for many patients and delay relief for vulnerable patients with legitimate chronic pain, especially those in nursing home and long-term care settings. Community pharmacists support aggressive efforts to combat the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Such abuse has ruined lives, devastated families and fostered dangerous crimes against pharmacies. At the same time, there are more practical means available to reduce prescription drug abuse. For starters, more effective education of prescribers, electronic prescription drug monitoring programs and tracking systems, and shutting down rogue pain clinics are all steps that can combat abuse without harming patients and the pharmacists caring for them."
For more on this topic:
NCPA Offers FDA Solutions to Drug Abuse Epidemic; Outlines Concerns for Patients with Moving Hydrocodone Products to Schedule Two
Pharmacists: Bill Would Cause Patient Suffering by Delaying Access to Essential Pain Relievers
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.7 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com/.
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