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Doctors Predict Busier Waiting Rooms With New Prescription Restrictions

PLAINS TOWNSHIP – Some doctors and patients in the Wyoming Valley expect to see busier waiting rooms this fall, after the feds announced changes to the restrictions on popular painkillers.

The Drug Enforcement Agency recently announced that hydrocodone has been moved to a different category, putting pills like Vicodin in the same category as Oxycodone.

At Geisinger near Wilkes-Barre, Dr. Charles Sawyer explained that patients, who only need to see a doctor once for a six-month supply, will soon be required to visit their doctor for a one or three-month-supply.

“The prescriber could phone the prescription to the pharmacy and could put refills on the prescription. So now the limitations are that each prescription needs to be written out and signed individually,” said Sawyer. “It will be an inconvenience to me and to some of my patients. The question is whether there is any data that suggests that doing this will reduce the amount of prescription drug abuse.”

The new restrictions are expected to be implemented in mid-October.

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