Hydrocodone Reclassification Will Create Silent Victims

A press release this week announced the launch of a new microsite designed to highlight the dilemma of legitimate patients who may be the victims of flawed drug policy, by denying or restricting access the medications they need to manage pain. The resource, www.Drugstorenews.com/pain-management, is managed by  pharmacy information provider Drug Store News, and ties into the U.S. Pain Foundation's INvisible Project, a photojournalistic showcase of the day-to-day experiences of real people with chronic pain.

The news release references the contention of patient advocacy groups that there is no research proving that reclassifying products containing hydrocodone to higher, more restrictive classifications will curb abuse of pain medications.  Further, there is evidence that suggests that these more restrictive classifications block access to medications and cause honest patients harm, as prescriptions for schedule II medications can't be transmitted by phone or fax, and they cannot be refilled.

What is needed to effectively combat prescription drug abuse and protect patient access to critical medications, these groups say, is a commission of federal and state government agencies, law enforcement and healthcare professionals to pursue more equitable solutions that target illegitimate sellers, better educate prescribers and implement more advanced drug monitoring and tracking technologies. Explore the site and the stories of patients with pain, at www.Drugstorenews.com/pain-management.

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