The FDA's new policy, expected to be approved later this year, changes the classification of painkillers containing hydrocodone to Schedule II from Schedule III drugs, making them harder to obtain.
... The reclassification is expected to be approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and formally adopted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The change could take effect next year.
The FDA reclassification would require patients to take prescriptions for hydrocodone-based pain pills to a pharmacy, where now they can have doctors call in a prescription. The new rules also allow for fewer refills before a patient must return to a doctor's office for a new prescription.