As reported widely through the media, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has published a Final Rule putting additional restrictions on hydrocodone-containing drug products, moving them from Schedule III to Schedule II of the federal Controlled Substances Act.
Earlier this year, the ADA joined several other health organizations in expressing concern over the move, which imposes additional regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions on persons who handle or propose to handle hydrocodone combination products, since hydrocodone drugs are often used to treat severe pain related to dental surgery. ADA is assessing the Final Rule and will provide more information on its impact on ADA members and the patients they serve.
The rule features a 45 day notice period, and will take effect on or about October 6, 2014. Without question, this rule will affect dentists who may have called in HCPs over the weekend for patients suffering pain. ADA and ASDA will continue to review the ruling to determine if other options exist for such cases, other than prescribing ibuprofen as several dentists have suggested.
Source: ADA Leadership Report, August 22, 2014