Restricting Hydrocodone Combination Products Could Limit Patient Access to Painkillers

August 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 25, 2014 Following is a statement from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) on the Drug Enforcement Administration 's (DEA) move to restrict access to hydrocodone combination products. ACS CAN submitted comments to the DEA earlier this year in opposition to the proposed move. The comments can be found at

The illegal use and abuse of prescription painkillers is a serious public health issue that needs to be addressed. However, tighter restrictions on doctors who prescribe these medications could prevent millions of Americans with cancer and other serious illnesses from accessing the pain medications they need to participate in daily activities during and after treatment. Requiring more frequent visits to the doctor can pose significant challenges to people receiving treatment for cancer, especially those in rural communities without easy access to doctors. Despite the good intentions behind the DEA 's decision, the reality is that it could unintentionally impede access to necessary medications and diminish the quality of life of patients and others who experience chronic pain. We will carefully monitor the impacts that this policy has on the ability for people with cancer to effectively manage their pain.

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem.ξ ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visitξ


Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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