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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:07 AM

F.D.A. Likely to Add Limits on Painkillers

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/health/fda-vote-on-restricting-hydrocodone-products-vicodin.html

F.D.A. Likely to Add Limits on Painkillers
By SABRINA TAVERNISE

Trying to stem the scourge of prescription drug abuse, an advisory panel of experts to the Food and Drug Administration voted on Friday to toughen the restrictions on painkillers like Vicodin that contain hydrocodone, the most widely prescribed drugs in the country.

The change would have sweeping consequences for doctors, pharmacists and patients. Refills without a new prescription would be forbidden, as would faxed prescriptions and those called in by phone. Only written prescriptions from a doctor would be allowed. Distributors would be required to store the drugs in special vaults.

But at the panel’s two-day hearing at F.D.A. headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., many spoke against the change, including advocates for nursing home patients, who said frail residents with chronic pain would have to make the trip to a doctor’s office. The change would also ban nurse practitioners and physician assistants from prescribing the drugs, making it harder for people in underserved rural areas.

The importance of Friday’s vote was more symbolic, he said, a message to doctors that they will need to think twice before prescribing hydrocodone, and to patients that the days of “unbridled access” are coming to an end. The tide has been turning against easy opioid prescriptions, as the medical system and federal regulators slowly make adjustments to reduce the potential for abuse.

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Reply F.D.A. Likely to Add Limits on Painkillers (Original post)
jsr Jan 2013 OP
Warpy Jan 2013 #1
auntsue Jan 2013 #2
haikugal Jan 2013 #4
pinto Jan 2013 #3
pecwae Jan 2013 #5
no_hypocrisy Jan 2013 #6

Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:24 AM

1. Hydrocodone makes me puke

Just keep your damn hands off my Ultram.

Oh, and the place to start closing up diversion of opiates is at manufacturers and at pill mills in Florida, not leaning on doctors who prescribe them to people in serious pain.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:31 AM

2. This will just negatively impact those who are in pain......

the abusers will still find a way to get what they need. Those big shot congress people must have never experienced REAL pain. I had three surgeries on my right knee from 5/11 to 5/12. The snapping, burning, stabbing sensations that take turns inhabiting my knee even today are, (according to my surgeon) muscles, tendons and nerves still working to get back to normal. Most days I can handle it with over-the-counter stuff.................but sometimes...........only hydrocodone makes it bearable. I don't get "high", just pain reduction. I get it from only one MD and get it filled at the same pharmacy. As things are now CVS can call or fax my doc for permission to refill. If the pain is bad.....I shouldn't drive.........so how would I get to doc for a refill Rx scrip??? Sometimes people just don't think through the impact of their "clamping down" ideas.
Has anyone bought sudafed lately? You get put in a data base to track how much you buy ...sheesh!!!!

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Response to auntsue (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:43 AM

4. I have the same need and setup with my Dr...

having to get a paper script every month will cost me time and money...much inconvenience when you have no public transport. Not good.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 01:17 AM

3. I support the intent of the measure, but feel it misses the point. I work with a local SEP -

(legal syringe exchange program). Oxy is by far the drug of choice for opiate injectors. And the agent in most OD's. At least in our area. Usage trends vary nationally.

from the same article -

While hydrocodone products are the most widely prescribed painkillers, they make up a minority of deaths, because there is less medication in each tablet than some of the other more restricted drugs, like extended-release oxycodone products, said Dr. Nathaniel Katz, assistant professor of anesthesia at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Oxycodone and methadone products account for about two-thirds of drug overdose deaths, he said, despite accounting for only a fraction of hydrocodone prescriptions.

The importance of Friday’s vote was more symbolic, he said, a message to doctors that they will need to think twice before prescribing hydrocodone, and to patients that the days of “unbridled access” are coming to an end. The tide has been turning against easy opioid prescriptions, as the medical system and federal regulators slowly make adjustments to reduce the potential for abuse.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:05 AM

5. Hydro barely touches my pain.

It amazes me that it's in the crosshairs. As to "unbridled access" what are they talking about? I practically have to beg just to get the hydro I need to make it through my day. I'll have to make a 2 hour drive to the V.A. to get a script each month. Great.

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Response to jsr (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:38 AM

6. Illegal access to these extreme narcotics mostly comes from

non-prescribed individuals in a home taking them. If drugs like oxycodone and Vicodin were required to be locked up like guns . . . . . oh yeah, scratch that idea . . . . .

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