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Washington State Dental Association

Reclassification of Hydrocodone Products

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a final rule that reclassifies hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) such as Vicodin from Schedule III to Schedule II drugs. Effective October 6, 2014, this reclassification will have an impact on dentist’s ability to prescribe HCPs. Dentists that currently hold a Schedule III DEA registration will need to re-register with the DEA for Schedule II authority in order to continue prescribing hydrocodone combination products. 
This reclassification will place several restrictions on HCPs for patients, dentists and pharmacies, such as:
  • Limiting prescriptions to 90 days before a new prescription is required;
  • Prohibiting refills of HCPs. Patients will need to meet with their dentists in order to get another prescription (The DEA will permit HCP prescriptions that authorize refills to be refilled until April 8, 2015);
  • Patients will need to obtain a written prescription from their dentists as calling in prescriptions for HCPs will no longer be accepted unless in the case of an emergency. Facsimile prescriptions for HCPs will only be permitted under limited circumstances. For a complete listing of prescription requirements, please review Section V of the DEA’s Practitioner Manual.
This reclassification is a result of the rampant prescription drug epidemic in our country. According to CNN News, one person dies every 19 minutes from a prescription drug overdose in the United States. HCPs are one of the most commonly misused prescriptions drugs on the market. 

Washington state has one of the highest rates of deaths from drug overdose in the country.  

Watch the CNN Video:
In an effort to combat this high rate of prescription drug misuse, the Washington State Department of Health established the Prescription Monitoring Program. The Prescription Monitoring Program collects all the records for Schedule II, III, IV and V drugs and makes that information available to all prescribing practitioners, allowing them to review a patient’s prescription history before prescribing or dispensing drugs. Learn more about the Prescription Monitoring Program and sign up today! * In order to access the registration page you will need to type newacct in the User Name field and welcome in the Password field

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TAGGED: Regulatory