The Food and Drug Administration believes stricter oversight is necessary for hydrocodone combination products to curb abuse and misuse, triggering its statement Oct. 24 that the Drug Enforcement Administration should move the products to schedule II status.
In 2009, the DEA asked the Department of Health and Human Services—which includes the FDA—for a recommendation regarding whether to change the schedule for hydrocodone combination products. In December, the FDA plans to submit a formal recommendation to the HHS to reclassify the products into schedule II.
The AVMA has advocated for veterinary access to opioids, including hydrocodone, for several years. A Nov. 1, 2012, letter from the AVMA to the FDA Drug Safety and Risk Management Committee underscored veterinarians’ needs for hydrocodone in clinical practice and the minimal risk of drug diversion for opioids in veterinary medicine.