Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

Online pharmacy:fesmag.com/tem

Have you a sex problem? Please visit our site:fesmag.com/medic

Site map
 
 
 
KTRS News

KTRS News

FDA WANTS LIMITS ON MOST PRESCRIBED PAINKILLERS

Monday, 28 October 2013 10:47 Published in Health & Fitness

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is recommending new restrictions on prescription medicines containing hydrocodone, the highly addictive painkiller that has grown into the most widely prescribed drug in the U.S.

In a major policy shift, the agency said in an online notice Thursday that hydrocodone-containing drugs should be subject to the same restrictions as other narcotic drugs like oxycodone and morphine.

The move comes more than a decade after the Drug Enforcement Administration first asked the FDA to reclassify hydrocodone so that it would be subject to the same restrictions as other addictive painkilling drugs. The FDA did not issue a formal announcement about its decision, which has long been sought by many patient advocates, doctors and state and federal lawmakers.

For decades, hydrocodone has been easier to prescribe, in part because it is only sold in combination pills and formulas with other non-addictive ingredients like aspirin and acetaminophen.

That ease of access has made it many health care professionals' top choice for treating chronic pain, everything from back pain to arthritis to toothaches.

In 2011, U.S. doctors wrote more than 131 million prescriptions for hydrocodone, making it the most prescribed drug in the country, according to government figures. The ingredient is found in blockbusters drugs like Vicodin as well as dozens of other generic formulations.

It also consistently ranks as the first or second most-abused medicine in the U.S. each year, according to the DEA, alongside oxycodone. Both belong to a family of drugs known as opioids, which also includes heroin, codeine and methadone.

Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that prescription painkiller overdose deaths among women increased about fivefold between 1999 and 2010. Among men, such deaths rose about 3.5-fold. The rise in both death rates is closely tied to a boom in the overall use of prescribed painkillers.

The FDA has long supported the more lax prescribing classification for hydrocodone, which is also backed by professional societies like the American Medical Association.

But the agency's top drug regulator, Dr. Janet Woodcock, said in a statement Thursday: "The FDA has become increasingly concerned about the abuse and misuse of opioid products, which have sadly reached epidemic proportions in certain parts of the United States."

The FDA says it will formally request in early December that hydrocodone be rescheduled as a Schedule II drug, limiting which kinds of medical professionals can write a prescription and how many times it can be refilled.

The Controlled Substances Act, passed in 1970, put hydrocodone drugs in the Schedule III class, which is subject to fewer controls. Under that classification, a prescription for Vicodin can be refilled five times before the patient has to see a physician again. If the drug is reclassified to Schedule II, patients will only be able to receive one 90-day prescription, similar to drugs like OxyContin. The drug could also not be prescribed by nurses and physician assistants.

The FDA's request for reclassification must be approved by officials in other agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.

News of the FDA decision was applauded by lawmakers from states that have been plagued by prescription drug abuse, many who have been prodding the agency to take action for months.

"Today was a tremendous step forward in fighting the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has ravaged West Virginia and our country," said Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, in a statement. "Rescheduling hydrocodone from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug will help prevent these highly addictive drugs from getting into the wrong hands and devastating families and communities

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York noted that the FDA's own expert panel recommended the reclassification more than nine months ago.

"Each day that passes means rising abuse, and even death, at the hands of hydrocodone-based drugs," Schumer said in a statement.

Still, Thursday's action immediately sparked criticism from some professional groups that said that the tighter restrictions could have unintended consequences, such as burdening health care workers and patients.

"The FDA's reported decision will likely pose significant hardships for many patients and delay relief for vulnerable patients with legitimate chronic pain, especially those in nursing home and long-term care," said Kevin Schweers, a spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

Missouri State House Members, St. Louis Aldermen, economists and fast-food workers are all at St. Louis city hall today to discuss the issue of fast-food workers forced onto public assistance due to low wages.

The group is hoping some policy solutions will result from such meetings.

The hearing comes just weeks after researchers at the University of California-Berkeley released a report showing that low-wage, fast-food jobs cost Missourians nearly $150 million every year in public assistance.

The workers want that burden taken off the taxpayers and put on the shoulders of their employers. Workers want higher wages so they don't have to rely on public programs, like food stamps, to survive.  

According to the UC-Berkeley report, McDonald's employees throughout the country use $1.2 billion in public assistance each year.  That is the most used by employees of a fast-food chain.

The new chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court is taking office today. 

Justice Rita Garman was unanimously elected by her colleagues to the seven-member court.

She is the first of the state's top jurists to serve in virtually every judicial capacity on the circuit, appellate and Supreme courts.

Garman is the 119th chief justice and the second woman to hold the post.  She has been a judge since 1974 and begn her legal career with the Vermilion County Legal Aid Society.

She's replacing Justice Thomas Kilbride who served three years as chief justice. He resumes his associate justice post.

  

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0

Wainwright's 2-hitter leads Cards past Nats 8-0

  WASHINGTON (AP) -- Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis b...

KELLY HURT AS CARDINALS LOSE TO BREWERS 5-1

KELLY HURT AS CARDINALS LOSE TO BREWERS 5-1

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals' 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday may prove more costly than one defeat in the NL Central standings. Cardinals starte...

Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1

Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis ...

Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers' 9-game win streak

Lynn, Cardinals snap Brewers' 9-game win streak

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers' nine-game winning streak was snapped Monday night when Lance Lynn struck out 11 in seven innings and Jon Jay hit a three-run homer for t...

49ERS LINEBACKER ALDON SMITH ARRESTED AT AIRPORT

49ERS LINEBACKER ALDON SMITH ARRESTED AT AIRPORT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a sec...

Red Wings keep Blues down with 3-0 shutout

Red Wings keep Blues down with 3-0 shutout

  ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Backup goalie Petr Mrazek kept the injury-riddled St. Louis Blues down heading into the playoffs with his second career shutout in a 3-0 victory for...

Carpenter, Wainwright help Cardinals top Cubs 10-4

Carpenter, Wainwright help Cardinals top Cubs 10-4

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Adams homered, Matt Carpenter drove in two runs and Adam Wainwright saved a tired bullpen by lasting seven innings for the St. Louis Cardinals in their 10...

Daley, Stars beat Blues 3-0, end playoff drought

Daley, Stars beat Blues 3-0, end playoff drought

DALLAS (AP) -- Trevor Daley had a goal and an assist, Kari Lehtonen recorded his fifth shutout of the season, and the Dallas Stars clinched their first playoff berth since 2008 ...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved