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Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama

Message RE: Reports of FDA changing Hydrocodone from Schedule III to Schedule II

Posted about 5 years ago by Joy Deupree

From: Jan Towers jtowers@AANP.ORG
Date: January 29, 2013, 1:27:11 AM CST
Subject: FDA Advisory Committee on Hydrocodone

Dear Colleagues, Several of you have seen media reports regarding the recent meeting of the FDA Drug Safety  and Risk management Advisory Committee related to the classification of Hydrocodone, that suggest that the FDA is considering banning nurse practitioners from prescribing Schedule II drugs.  Please know that the report Is FALSE.  The focus of this meeting was to address once again the issue of the classification of Hydrocodone. It currently is a schedule III drug and the desire is to reclassify it to a Schedule II. As you will recall, this was an issue last year when the Prescription Drug User Fee Act was passed sans a proposed  provision for this classification change. At that time we expressed concerns over the impact this would have on access in states where nurse practitioners are limited to prescribing Schedule III- V drugs. At the current meeting, the advisory committee voted 19 to 10 to recommend the change. Please remember, this is an advisory committee recommendation and not a decision of the FDA.  It may also help to know that the FDA does not always take the advice of its advisory committees. :) We have worked closely with the FDA on a variety of issues and it is not their intent to keep nurse practitioners from practicing at their full scope. In fact, in the meeting concerns were expressed about the nurse practitioners in those states where this would be an access problem. Yes, there is a nurse practitioner on the committee.