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FDA wants to crackdown on painkiller abuse
Greece, N.Y. - The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that access to pain killers should be tightened.
New York state has already made a step in this direction.
Earlier this year, changes had been made as to how hydrocodone is prescribed and tracked.
It is working, said George Faris, pharmacist at Faris Pharmacy in Greece. He has seen a decrease in the amount of prescriptions of hydrocodone pills, like Vicodin, since February.
Hydrocodone can no longer be refilled in New York state.
Patients must go to their physician to get a script or have a script mailed to the pharmacy.
"They can call in a five-day emergency supply, but (a physician) can't call in a 30-day supply, nor can he fax (it)," explained Faris.
There's also a state registry that pharmacies must update every day with all the controlled substances they distribute.
"Even if we're closed, we have to report that there were no prescriptions filled that day," said Faris. "It goes into the registry and its easier now for doctors to find out if people are doctor shopping and picking up the prescriptions from other physicians."
The FDA is now looking to make similar changes on a federal level, to make it more difficult for hydrocodone abusers to doctor shop.
The FDA hopes it will crack down on the amount this drug is abused.
"The problem's been around a long time," said Faris. "Now that we have it in this state, I'm sure other states are taking a look at it and will decide whether they want to go along with it or not."
According to the New York Poison Control Center, almost 13,000 cases of prescription drug abuse were reported in Upstate New York for 2011.
More than 2,000 of those cases were in Rochester.