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AMA News Room

Sept. 18, 2014

AMA’s New Fact Sheet for Physicians Aims to Help Ensure Patients Continue to Have Access to Medically Necessary Treatment Under New DEA Rule

For immediate release:
Sept. 18, 2014

Washington – The American Medical Association (AMA) released a new fact sheet today to assist physicians in complying with new federal regulations on prescribing hydrocodone and help avoid disruptions in patient care. The rule, effective October 6, 2014, reschedules hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) into Controlled Substance Schedule II. Millions of patients will be impacted by this new rule from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the new resource will help physicians understand the rule and avoid interruptions in access to medically necessary HCPs for their patients.

"The AMA is strongly committed to combating prescription drug abuse and diversion while at the same time preserving patient access to medically necessary treatments for pain," said Dr. Robert M. Wah, President of the AMA. "This new fact sheet explains how new regulatory changes impact both physicians and pharmacists, which will help ensure patients continue having access to the care they need under the new federal rule."

Prescriptions for HCPs issued before October 6 that have authorized refills can be dispensed in accordance with current DEA rules for refilling, partial filling, transferring, and central filling of Schedule III-V controlled substances until April 8, 2015. However, due to state laws and limitations on some pharmacy and insurance processes - some health insurers and pharmacies may deny requests for refills on or after October 6. To help ensure continuity of care for patients and reduce confusion, the AMA is encouraging prescribers to act now to provide new hard copy or electronic prescriptions for patients, rather than depending on existing refills. 

In addition to providing helpful resources like these to physicians, AMA intends to continue its advocacy efforts for a multi-pronged approach to address prescription drug abuse and diversion. That approach includes patient and physician education, increased access to treatment programs and life-saving overdose prevention medications like naloxone, adequate funding for prescription drug monitoring programs and prescription drug take-back programs.

Download the new fact sheet. For more information, please visit AMA Wire.

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Media Contact:
Randi Kahn
AMA Media & Editorial
(202) 789-7442



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