FDA Urging for Tougher Restrictions on Hydrocodone

FDA Urging for Tougher Restrictions on Hydrocodone

The Food and Drug Administration is demanding tighter restrictions on a commonly prescribed pain killer, this because of a rise in prescription drug abusers.

BELOIT- Karen Thorson with the Beloit Police Department loads hundreds of pounds of unused medication onto a truck headed for Janesville. From there the Drug Enforcement Agency will collect the prescriptions.

"It's a very labor intensive job. Once a day I empty it and then once a month for two to three hours a pharmacist comes and sorts it," explained Beloit Police Department Identification Technician Karen Thorson.
This is to keep medication out of the hands of abusers. The Food and Drug Administration is calling for tighter restrictions on products that contain Hydrocodone.

"It's available as several different trade name products also called Vicodin, Norco or Lortab," said Director of Pharmaceutical Care Services James Jansen.

The FDA wants to reclassify products like Vicodin from Schedule Three controlled Substances to Schedule Two. This would make it harder for patients to get refills.

"It would require for them or a family member to make a visit to the physician's office at more intervals to get a new prescription written," explained Jansen.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the number of Emergency Room visits for misuse of prescription painkillers nearly doubled over the last five years.

"Definitely, it keeps it out of the hands of someone who may be visiting who made need a pain killer and may go through your medicine chest, so it definitely helps keep it out of the streets," said Thorson.

Drug Take Back Day is taking place across the nation tomorrow October 26th. To find out which local police stations are taking part visit www.dea.gov 

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