Painkiller reclassification will affect Oklahoma emergency departments

Posted on: 9/3/14

Hospital emergency departments staffed by midlevel practitioners in Oklahoma will be affected by an upcoming change in painkiller regulations.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is changing the classification of hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) from Schedule III to the more restrictive Schedule II, effective Oct. 6. These drugs combine hydrocodone, which is itself a Schedule II drug, with other substances such as acetaminophen, and are sold under brand names such as Vicodin and Lortab.

Laws on prescriptive authority for controlled substances vary from state to state. In Oklahoma, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are restricted from prescribing Schedule II drugs.  Physician prescriptions for HCPs will be subject to Schedule II limitations and requirements, and pharmacies will have to meet Schedule II requirements for storage and handling of these drugs.

The Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy has created a summary of information pertaining to the change for the convenience of pharmacists and practitioners, available here.

The DEA rule changing the classification of hydrocodone combination products is here.

OHA Partners with Qualivis 

Qualivis was developed as a collaborative effort among multiple state hospital associations to meet the temporary staffing needs of member hospitals and health systems.

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