Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

DEA Adopts Buchanan Proposal

Aug 21, 2014
Press Release

Cracks down on deadly hydrocodone drug

Win for every man, woman, and child who has endured the horrors of Rx drug abuse

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, today praised the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) announcement that it will place tighter controls on prescription painkillers using the active ingredient hydrocodone. The change mirrors legislation introduced by Buchanan to reschedule hydrocodone combination drugs from a schedule III to a schedule II drug – making them more difficult to prescribe and obtain.

“Today’s announcement is a win for every man, woman, and child who has endured the horrors of prescription drug abuse,” said Buchanan, the House sponsor of the Safe Prescribing Act of 2013 (H.R. 1285). “We are one giant step closer to curbing an epidemic that wreaks havoc on countless families and communities across our state.”

The DEA’s policy shift will officially take effect in 45 days. "Today's action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available," said DEA chief Michele Leonhart, in a statement.

While the United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, it consumes 99 percent of its hydrocodone. Emergency room visits involving hydrocodone rose from 38,000 in 2004 to more than 115,000 in 2010. These drugs are now the most widely prescribed painkillers in the United States.

Buchanan’s Safe Prescribing Act has been co-sponsored by over 50 bipartisan members of Congress including five distinguished Committee Chairmen.