SCHUMER TO URGE FDA TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OF HYDROCODONE, AMONG MOST HIGHLY ABUSED & WIDELY PRESCRIBED DRUGS IN UPSTATE NY – RX PAINKILLERS HAVE CAUSED MORE OVERDOSE DEATHS THAN COCAINE, HEROINE COMBINED

SCHUMER TO URGE FDA TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OF HYDROCODONE, AMONG MOST HIGHLY ABUSED & WIDELY PRESCRIBED DRUGS IN UPSTATE NY – RX PAINKILLERS HAVE CAUSED MORE OVERDOSE DEATHS THAN COCAINE, HEROINE COMBINED

After Panel of Doctors & Scientists Advised Feds Last Week to Make Hydrocodone A Schedule II Drug, Due to Its High Risk for Abuse & Addiction, Schumer to Urge FDA to Swiftly Approve Recommendation

Recent Data Provides County-By-County Incidents of Rx Drug Abuse In 2011; Western NY Experienced 2,335 Cases of Rx Abuse, In CNY 3,100 Cases, & Cap Region 1,450 Cases

Schumer: Fed Intervention is Critical to Rein In Epidemic of Abuse, Preserve Appropriate Patient Access

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 30th at 12:15 PM on a press conference call, in an effort to help combat an unprecedented spike in prescription drug abuse in New York State, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer will call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to swiftly establish regulations to make it harder to access painkillers that contain hydrocodone. Specifically, Schumer will urge FDA Commissioner Hamburg to approve last week’s recommendations from the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee – an expert panel of doctors and scientists – to reclassify hydrocodone as a Schedule II controlled substance. Schumer will also support the recommendation to limit access to high-level refills of such drugs over short periods of time.

Hydrocodone is among the most widely prescribed drug in New York and the country, has rapidly increased in abuse levels, and is highly dangerous. Schumer noted that in 2011, the Upstate New York Poison Control Center reported over 12,800 cases of prescription drug abuse. Over the past year, Schumer has worked closely and effectively with the FDA to help stem the abuse of hydrocodone, and will highlight the importance of policy that strikes a balance between appropriate access to pain relief medications, and preventing prescription drugs from getting in the wrong hands.

Bazzo 01/30/13

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