More Thoughts On Reclassifying Hydrocodone

More Thoughts On Reclassifying Hydrocodone

Following up on my other post, here, today’s New York Times reports:

Among the provisions in the bill, pushed by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, was one that is central to the new F.D.A. recommendations: reducing to 90 days the length of time in which a patient could obtain refills for painkillers containing hydrocodone without a doctor visit.

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Before joining the Senate in 2010, Mr. Manchin, as governor of West Virginia, had watched the devastation caused by prescription painkiller abuse. “Doctors are passing out this drug like candy,” he said.

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In almost every case accusing doctors of improper prescribing, the doctors charge per office visit.  For obvious reasons, most of these cases do not involve refills.  If one believes doctors are handing out the drug “like candy,” it’s hard to see how the reclassification will help.