Hydrocodone Letter Courtesy FDA Commissioner

The Honorable Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

Dear Commissioner Hamburg:

Attached is a courtesy copy of a letter that we have sent to the members of your Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee that will be meeting on January 24th and 25th to review the rescheduling of hydrocodone combination products from Schedule III to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.

The nonmedical use of opioids, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, has reached epidemic levels in the United States and causes about 15,000 deaths each year. No one can say for certain how many of these victims were patients or former patients at the time of their death but experts have suggested that a sizable number of them may have commenced their final journey as legitimate pain patients seeking relief from oxycodone or hydrocodone drugs prescribed for them.