On January 25, 2013, the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee recommended that the Food and Drug Adminstration place tighter restrictions on hyrdrocodone, he most widely prescribed drug in the United States. The Committee advocated that hydrocodone should be reclassified from a schedule III drug, one defined as having moderate abuse potential, to a schedule II, those drugs with high abuse potential that can lead to severe physical dependence. Other Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, morphine, and methadone.
If the Committee's recommendations are adopted, medical professional would be limited to giving patients a 90-day prescription for hydrocodone with no refills. Currently, physicians can prescribe hydrocodone for up to five refills. According to health care information company, IMS Health, hydrocodone is the most prescribed painkiller in the U.S at 131 million prescriptions in 2010 alone.
Adoption of the Committee's recommendation may also affect the degree, and accompanying punishment, for illegal possession or use of hydrocodone under Ohio's criminal code. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 2925.11, possession or use of small a schedule I or II drug, under most circumstances, constitutes a felony, while possession or use of a schedule III or lower drug is generally only a misdemeanor. Obviously, reclassification of hydrocodone as a higher schedule drug would increase the seriousness of itspossession or use as a criminal offense.
The experienced attorneys of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder have extensive experience defending against drug charges. If you have been charged with a drug charge in Ohio, a knowledgeable Criminal Attorney from DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder may be able to help. For legal advice or information, contact, the attorneys at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder today.