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Schumer asks FDA to tighten control of Hydrocodone

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MASSENA - To combat a spike in prescription drug abuse in New York state, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is urging the Food and Drug Administration to restrict access to hydrocodone by reclassifying it as a Schedule II controlled substance.

Schedule II drugs include narcotics such as oxycodone and morphine and stimulants such as methamphetamine.

These substances require a written or electronic prescription that must be signed by the practitioner. A new prescription must be issued every time a patient needs a refill.

Following its recent efforts to curb hydrocodone use and a recommendation last week from the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, Sen. Schumer is urging the FDA to recommend the category change.

About one in 20 people in the United States, ages 12 and older, used prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010.

In the north country, there were 1,070 reported cases of prescription drug abuse in 2011.

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