US Pharm. 2016;41(2):8.

Washington, DC—According to a Department of Health and Human Services analysis of IMS Health data, moving Vicodin and similar hydrocodone combination products from schedule III to the more restrictive schedule II on the federal controlled substances list was associated with 26.3 million fewer prescriptions in the first year following the rescheduling. This is a 22% drop from the 3 years before the change. Most of the decline was attributed to difficulty in obtaining refills over the phone. This policy change will likely have a dramatic impact on the opioid crisis. Future research is needed to examine whether these changes are sustained over time and if they are associated with reductions in abuse, addiction, and overdose.

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