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After Mike Bloomberg's rule for hospitals, FDA panel votes to restrict use of painkillers


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2519743#.UQNEdhxiJwcWashington Examiner:

Federal Drug Administration advisers voted today to restrict access to certain kinds of prescription drugs in an effort to fight drug abuse

The vote had experts divided over the risk of drug abuse as weighed against the risk of increased pain or difficulty for patients on the medication.

“It will have an impact on a lot of patients who have been receiving them for some time for legitimate purposes,” Dr. Lynn Webster, president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, said per Health Day News ahead of the vote.

The FDA rule change is designed to implement a policy that the Senate passed last year, but the U.S. House of Representatives killed.

“Under the new rules, refills without a new prescription would be forbidden, as would faxed prescriptions and those called in by phone,” The New York Times explains in reporting that the new rules passed by 19-10 vote. “Only written prescriptions from a doctor would be allowed, and pharmacists and distributors would be required to store the drugs in special vaults . . . advocates for nursing home patients, who said older, frail residents needing pain medication would now be required to make the arduous trip to a doctor’s office to continue using hydrocodone products.”Scissors-32x32.png

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