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Regulation changes for certain pain killing drugs

Pharmacists and doctors at University Hospital said the DEA issued a notice 45 days ago warning everyone about the regulation changes.

The DEA hopes changing hydrocodone based drugs from schedule 3 to schedule 2 will prevent prescription drug abuse.

However, some doctors said the change could make matters worse.

“This may not solve any problem at all. It’s very possible that no problem will be solved by doing this,” said Dr. Steven Zweig.

Doctors will now have to keep re-writing hard copy prescriptions.

Ultimately, leading them to prescribe more medications than the patient needs.

Zweig said doctors can write up to three prescriptions at one doctor visit, but will have to note the pharmacist cannot fill it until a certain date.

Julia Chisholm is a Pharmacist at University Hospital. She said the DEA is relying on pharmacists to make sure prescriptions are filled correctly, giving them the final say on whether or not something can be filled.

“We will need an original hard copy prescription, a valid prescription signature. We can’t have those prescriptions called in anymore,” said Chisholm.

Zweig said the DEA’s motive by changing the regulation is to prevent the drug from being used illegally.

However, he said there are several schedule 2 drugs out there that are abused.

“Just moving it to a different schedule doesn’t prevent drug abuse. It doesn’t prevent diversion and it doesn’t prevent drug overdose.”

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