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FDA reclassifies hydrocodone-based painkillers as Schedule II substances

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October 25
1:46 AM 2013

The US Food and Drug Administration has reclassified Vicodine and other hydrocodone-based painkillers as Schedule II substances. The pills were currently classified as Schedule III. The FDA follows a five-stage for classifying drugs based on its addiction potential. Before the reversal, hydrocodone combinations were classified under Schedule III.

Stricter restrictions would help curb abuse but Harvard Medical School Assistant Professor Edward Michna said the new classification might be difficult for pain patients. He told Bloomberg that nurse practitioners would not be able to write prescriptions for drugs classified as Schedule II. He also said a lot of doctors usually limit their prescriptions to Schedule III drugs.

Meanwhile, Abbvie Inc, the maker of Vicodin would be releasing its third quarter earnings on October 25. Analysts estimated that consensus earnings per share would be pegged at USD 0.78 a share. Forbes reported that this would be higher than the USD 0.76 per share three months ago. Analysts also projected revenues for the quarter to be USD 4.52 billion, up from USD 4.51 billion in the same period last year.

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