FDA Refuses to Control 2nd-Most Abused Drug

Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Drug-abuse opponents want to know why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has dithered for a dozen years over tightening controls of hydrocodone, the nation’s second-most abused medicine (behind oxycodone). It is the primary ingredient of Vicodin, which is marketed by Abbott Laboratories. 
Emergency rooms have been flooded with cases of people overdosing on hydrocodone, with cases skyrocketing from 19,221 in 2000 to 86,258 in 2009.
The drug also has contributed to the deaths of celebrities, including actors Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy and Corey Haim. Others who have admitted to Vicodin addiction range from right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh to rapper Eminem.
Since 1999, the FDA has considered moving hydrocodone-containing medicines from the Schedule III category of medicines to the more restrictive Schedule II. But no action has been taken, much to the consternation of substance-abuse experts.
“They’re not doing a darn thing,” Robert DuPont, president of the Institute for Behavior and Health, told the Associated Press. “There’s no study that takes 12 years. When you think how many people have died of hydrocodone overdoses, it’s inexcusable.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Feds Resist Control for 2nd Most-Abused Pain Drug (by Chris Hawley, Associated Press)
Is Klonopin the Most Dangerous Prescription Drug? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
Hidden Pain in Pain Pill (by Greg Critser, Los Angeles Times)


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