DPS to Assist Medical Professionals with Drug Change

AUSTIN, September 19, 2014 – In preparation for the rescheduling of hydrocodone combination products (HCPs), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has increased staffing and resources to respond to medical practitioners serving Texas patients who require prescriptions for HCPs.

Effective Oct. 6, 2014, HCPs will move from the classification of a Schedule III drug to the more-restrictive Schedule II. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s rescheduling of HCPs as Schedule II controlled substances will increase the restrictions on prescribing and dispensing practices for hydrocodone combination drugs.

Physicians who prescribe HCPs will be required to use prescription pads provided by DPS. To accommodate these changes and to assist medical professionals, DPS is offering the following customer service enhancements:

Extended customer service availability from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

  • An automated call-back system allowing customers to make an appointment for an agent’s return call;
  • Increased staff to help process registration modifications to allow practitioners to change their approved schedules; and
  • Extended work hours for staff in both the customer contact center and order fulfillment areas.
  • In addition, medical practitioners needing assistance can either call (512) 424-7293 or visit the customer contact center at https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/rsd/contact/default.aspx and then select “Texas Prescription Program” from the drop-down menu.

For answers to common questions related to the HCP change, see http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/RSD/ControlledSubstances/hydrocodoneSchedII.htm.
HCPs are drugs that contain both hydrocodone – which by itself is a Schedule II drug – and specified amounts of other substances, such as acetaminophen or aspirin.

The federal Controlled Substances Act places substances with accepted medical uses into one of four schedules, with the substances with the highest potential for harm and abuse being placed in Schedule II, and substances with progressively less potential for harm and abuse being placed in Schedules III through V. (Schedule I is reserved for those controlled substances with no currently accepted medical use and lack of accepted safety for use.)

For additional information on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announcement, visit:
http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/hq/2014/hq082114.shtml.

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