Elizabeth Lai, Mercer University College of Pharmacy 2016
The DEA’s decision to reclassify hydrocodone combination products as Schedule II drugs has understandably frustrated pharmacy employees and health care providers. As frustrating as the change may be, it’s important to keep the potential benefits of rescheduling in mind. Rescheduling can:
- Reduce misuse and require frequent patient visits for prescribing, so that providers rethink current prescribing practices.
- Decrease abuse, which may lead to physical or psychological dependence, and overdoses.
- Encourage appropriate trial of opioid therapy and increase assessment of a patient’s pain, function, adverse effects and adherence.
- Reduce the number of pills available for diversion.