Hydrocodone Combo Product Rescheduling: What You Need to Know
the MPR take:
The DEA’s Final Rule moving hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to Schedule II will go into effect starting October 6, but physicians should be prepared for this change in advance to minimize disruptions in patient treatment plans. Regulations and recommendations include:
- Use of electronic health records systems can help to identify patients currently receiving chronic hydrocodone combination drugs; physicians may wish to schedule a visit with them prior to October 6 to discuss alternative pain management options.
- Refills will only be valid only if the original prescription was written prior to October 6 and is filled before April 8, 2015. Certain pharmacy dispensing software products will be unable to to process existing refills starting on October 6 so prescribers should be prepared to work with pharmacists to supply new scripts when necessary.
- Prescriptions for HCPs issued on October 6 or later must comply with Schedule II regulations, which includes no refills and no over-the-phone or fax submissions (except in rare situations). Electronic transmission of prescriptions is valid only if legal in the prescriber's state.
- If appropriate and allowed by a prescriber's state, the prescriber can write multiple HCP prescriptions in order to provide a 90-day supply and indicate the earliest fill date on each prescription.
The National Safety Council also plans to release a series of white papers that will evaluate the efficacy of various types of pain medications, including opioids, to assist clinicians.
The DEA recently published its final rule (www.federalregister.gov) in the Federal Register that moved hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more restrictive Schedule II, as was recommended by the HHS assistant secretary. The swell in HCP prescriptions can be ...
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