WV Attorney General says DEA ruling on hydrocodone-combinations - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV Attorney General says DEA ruling on hydrocodone-combinations will make it harder for buyers to abuse it

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said he supports the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to reclassify hydrocodone-combination medications as Schedule II pharmaceuticals.

Morrisey said the change will result in “tighter restrictions on how the medication can be prescribed.”

“Our office is pleased with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's decision to begin listing hydrocodone combination products as Schedule II pharmaceuticals instead of Schedule III,” he said in a statement issued after the announcement. “This move will help to place some needed controls on these drugs, and hopefully make it harder for people to abuse them. Our office sent a letter to the DEA in March urging the change, and we are hopeful that this will be a positive step in fighting and preventing the scourge of prescription drug abuse in our state and the nation.”

Morrisey said the change will not prevent individuals with legitimate need from obtaining the medicines for relief from chronic pain, “but it will result in changes to how the medication, which includes the brands Vicodin and Lortab, may be prescribed.”

“Schedule II medications usually require handwritten prescriptions with no refills, as well as other restrictions,” he said. “Schedule III drugs, on the other hand, may be written or called in to a pharmacy and be refilled five times within six months.

“Many West Virginians are very familiar with the problems that prescription drug abuse and addiction can create,” he added. “We believe it is a wise decision to reclassify hydrocodone-combination medication so they are handled with the same precautions as other pain medications, such as oxycodone, hydromorphone, and fentanyl."

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