Citing the propensity of being abused, the US Drug Enforcement Agency recommended reclassifying hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from a schedule III to a schedule II drug.
Citing the propensity of being abused, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recommended reclassifying hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from a schedule III to a schedule II drug. This potential reclassification would increase criminal penalties for misuse and will change protocol in prescribing the drug to patients. The final vote will occur in late April.
After hearing 768 arguments from patients, medical professionals, and representatives from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee voted 19 — 10 in favor of changing the category of HCPs.
Independently, hydrocodone has been defined as a schedule II substance since 1971. However, HCPs in specified doses (classified as containing no greater than 15 mg hydrocodone per dosage unit or not more than 300 mg hydrocodone per 100 mL) were listed in schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) when formulated with specified amounts of an isoquinoline alkaloid of opium or one or more therapeutically active non-narcotic ingredients.
The DEA provided a summation of the reasons they voted for the reclassification of HCPs: