New CII Stories: A call for practitioner experiences with the hydrocodone/apap rescheduling.

Today the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officially rescheduled hydrocodone combination products (HCP) from Schedule III to Schedule II.  HCP’s are the most widely used prescription drug product in the United States and I suspect many practitioners (outside of New York where it was already CII) are going to experience issues over the next few months during this transition.  I’m asking for physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and more to please share with me any good or bad situations you experience regarding HCP prescriptions.  I’d like to compile them and see if there are any trends or unexpected consequences that we haven’t thought of yet.

We have already discovered that due to IT and other operational constraints that most pharmacies will not honor the refills on HCP’s written before 10/6/2014 even though the DEA will allow the refill until April 2015.hydrocodone-WATSON4

I can imagine that there will be several other issues emerge.  If your clinic or pharmacy has implemented a system to streamline the changes, please share as well so we can help encourage best practices around the country.  In the end, we want what is best for our patients and to help reduce diversion of this popular drug.

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Joey Mattingly, PharmD, MBA is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy located in Baltimore, Maryland. Joey has managed retail and long-term care pharmacy operations in Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. Leading Over The Counter is a blog of Joey's views and opinions on the topics of pharmacy leadership and management and do not represent the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Joey can be followed on Twitter @joeymattingly.

2 Responses to “New CII Stories: A call for practitioner experiences with the hydrocodone/apap rescheduling.

  • Hi, I take Hydrocodone monthly as prescribed for advanced Rheumatory Arthritis, several spine injuries and damage to my hip. I had a refill written before October 6, 2014 and we were all told they would be honored until April 6 2014. My pharmacy in New Jersey cannot honor that due to the software not allowing the pharmacist to do it. This is going to cause serious problem with patients who have legitimate and serious health issues. For me, I cannot get around and do normal day to day activities without the medication. Even typing and writing is very difficult. My Dr whom I have been seeing for 6 years, is an hour away. I do not have insurance and pay for everything out of pocket.I wasn’t scheduled until next month to see him. He is packed with patients every day and getting an earlier appointment is not going to happen. So what are people like me supposed to do now? Especially when we are due for the refill?

    • Hey Wendy,
      I’m very sorry to hear the struggles that you are having with your hydrocodone/APAP prescription. This was an issue I was afraid would happen. When you do see your physician, while he may not write refills he is able to write up to a 90 day supply for a C-II prescription. Most physicians write 3 separate prescriptions totally 90 days of therapy for patients on C-II medications long term, with each prescription with a specified “fill on” date.

      As for the pharmacy not honoring the refill, I would try to speak with the pharmacy manager and explain your situation. Hopefully, he or she will help find a solution that is best for you.

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