Change in Federal Law to Impact Patients Using Hydrocodone

Health Care News - What Doctors Know

DALLAS — Due to a change in federal law, beginning Oct. 6, 2014, all prescriptions for any medicine containing hydrocodone, including medications such as Norco, Lortab, Vicodin and some others, will be reclassified to a Schedule II (2) Controlled Substance. According to experts at Parkland Health & Hospital System, this nationwide change will impact patients seeking new prescriptions and will also restrict the type of providers who can write a prescription for a medicine containing hydrocodone.

“We want patients to be aware of this change that will be implemented across the country by all pharmacies and health care providers on Oct. 6,” said Vivian Johnson, PharmD, MBA,Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Parkland. “Patients will need to have a prescription for these medications written on a special prescription form each time the medicine is filled.”

In addition, the new law states that most nurse practitioners, physician assistants and medical residents will not be able to write an outpatient prescription for a medicine containing hydrocodone. The new prescription must be written by a physician authorized by the Department of Public Safety to write Schedule II prescriptions on special prescription forms.

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