Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Rep. Buchanan Wants Painkiller Reclassified

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Rep. Buchanan Wants Painkiller Reclassified

Article excerpt

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is aggressively pushing the Obama administration to make one of the most abused painkillers harder to prescribe.

Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling on her agency to move quickly on the Food and Drug Administration's recommendation to make hydrocodone harder to prescribe.

Specifically, the FDA has proposed rescheduling hydrocodone from a schedule III to a schedule II drug. That would require patients to have to visit a doctor after 90 days in order to get a refill on painkillers that contain hydrocodone. Currently, refills can be made without seeing a doctor.

That was a key provision in a bill Buchanan and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., nearly passed out of Congress last year but failed.

The FDA has traditionally been more resistent to making it harder to prescribe the medications at the lobbying of pharmaceutical companies, patient advocacy groups and drugstores who worry the restrictions could hurt people who have legitimate pain from getting treatment. …

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