The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a final rule Aug. 22 that changes the controlled substance scheduling of hydrocodone combination products (HCP) from Schedule III to Schedule II. The change is scheduled to take effect Oct. 6.
The new rules include these requirements:
- HCP prescriptions issued on or after Oct. 6 must comply with requirements for Schedule II prescriptions. Refills are prohibited.
- HCP prescriptions issued before Oct. 6 with authorized refills may be dispensed in accordance with DEA rules for refilling, partial filling, transferring and central filling Schedule III-V controlled substances until April 8, 2015.
Compliance with the Schedule II requirements for HCP prescriptions means that effective Oct. 6, HCP prescriptions must be written on paper or electronically transmitted. Fax transmission is not allowed. Except for emergency situations that are governed by specific requirements, HCP prescriptions also cannot be called into a pharmacy.