ASCP Reacts to Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products

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| Source: American Society of Consultant Pharmacists

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) issued the following statement today in response to the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA's) decision to reschedule hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA):

"ASCP is disappointed that DEA did not consider the negative impact on patient medication access rescheduling HCPs would cause in the post-acute and long-term care settings," said Ross Brickley, RPh, MBA, CGP, past-president of ASCP and current chairman of ASCP's DEA Task Force. "Our members are very concerned for what this could mean for frail, elderly patients with chronic pain."
 
"DEA's ruling will magnify existing pain medication access barriers, which currently exist for Schedule II drugs in the post-acute and long-term care settings. Where relying exclusively on Schedule II drugs would prevent patients from receiving timely pain relief, access to HCPs in Schedule III had been viewed as an alternative. With this option eliminated, delays to pain relief will increase for post-acute and long-term care patients. This may adversely impact the quality of patient care," said Brickley.
 
"The Society fully supports taking necessary measures to prevent prescription drug misuse and abuse, and we are dedicated to assisting DEA with finding solutions to ending the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States," said Brickley. "We hope DEA and other policymakers will work with stakeholder organizations to find policy solutions to the new access barriers created by this regulatory change for long-term care patients residing in nursing homes, post-acute care, and assisted living settings."
 
For more information, visit ASCP's Hydrocodone Combination Products Upscheduling Advocacy Center.
 
About the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists is the only international professional society devoted to optimal medication management and improved health outcomes for all older persons. ASCP's members manage and improve drug therapy and improve the quality of life of geriatric patients and other individuals residing in a variety of environments, including nursing facilities, sub-acute care and assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and home and community-based care. Visit www.ascp.com for more information.

Christine Polite
703-739-1300 x134