FDA officially recommends Health, Human Services reschedule hydr - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

FDA officially recommends Health, Human Services reschedule hydrocodone

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Crews fight house fire in Fayette County for several hours Saturday

    Crews fight house fire in Fayette County for several hours Saturday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:24:33 GMT
    Crews fought a house fire in Fayette County Saturday evening for several hours. 911 Dispatchers said the call came in of a house fire on Paint Creek Road near Pax around 6:30 p.m. Pax Fire Department and Bradley-Prosperity Fire Department responded along with several other crews. We're told no one was inside the home when the fire happened.
    Crews fought a house fire in Fayette County Saturday evening for several hours. 911 Dispatchers said the call came in of a house fire on Paint Creek Road near Pax around 6:30 p.m. Pax Fire Department and Bradley-Prosperity Fire Department responded along with several other crews. We're told no one was inside the home when the fire happened.
  • Woman and husband charged for unintentional killing of son

    Woman and husband charged for unintentional killing of son

    Woman and husband charged for unintentional killing of son

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:38:36 GMT
    A Shinnston woman and her husband have been charged with what authorities are calling the unintentional suffocation of her 3-month-old son.
    A Shinnston woman and her husband have been charged with what authorities are calling the unintentional suffocation of her 3-month-old son.
  • One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    One man shot early Saturday morning in Beckley

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:22:04 GMT
         One man is in custody Saturday after a bar shooting in Raleigh County.
         One man is in custody Saturday after a bar shooting in Raleigh County.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius informed U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin Oct. 24 that the Food and Drug Administration will reschedule hydrocodone combination drugs from a Schedule III drug to a Schedule II controlled substance.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Schedule III drugs, substances or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule II drugs substances or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse. Schedule II drugs have less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, but use of them have the potential to lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Manchin testified to the FDA's Advisory Committee nearly a year ago about the need to reclassify the highly addictive substance.

Health and Human Services is expected to pass the FDA's recommendation along to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which will immediately begin the reclassification process, according to information from Manchin's office.

The DEA keeps strict regulations on how Schedule II drugs may be prescribed and refills are prohibited. And in most cases, a prescriber can fax a Schedule II prescription to a pharmacy, but the original prescription must still be presented to the pharmacist fore review before the drug is dispensed.

"Rescheduling hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug will help prevent these highly addictive drugs from getting into the wrong hands and devastating families and communities," Manchin said. "The agency has just saved hundreds of thousands of lives."

West Virginia State Police Col. Jay Smithers said the diversion of prescription pain medication for illegal purposes is one of the biggest problems facing West Virginia, despite a legitimate need for pain medication.

"The reclassification of hydrocodone is a major step toward restoring accountability and oversight between medical providers and patients suffering from acute injuries, chronic pain and terminal illness.

"It is my sincere belief that this measure will decrease the amount of hydrocodone available to those who do not possess a legitimate prescription."