Last week, Alabama pharmacists successful fought against increased regulations on Xanax. The Alabama Department of Public Health had moved to reclassify Xanax as a Schedule II drug, putting it on the same level as opioids. The Department of Public Health and Alabama Medical Association believed the reclassification would cut down on overdoses and save lives.
But the pharmacy community did not agree with the reclassification — and neither the Alabama Pharmacy Association (APA) nor the Board of Pharmacy were consulted in the initial decision. Pharmacists did not believe this reclassification would cut down on abuse, and instead would have caused more work for both physicians and pharmacists since you can’t have refills.
Michael Hogue, a professor at Samford University and APA member, said the reclassification wouldn’t solve the overdose issue, and instead would have made it more difficult for patients with anxiety since Alabama has a shortage of psychiatric providers. “By changing alprazolam to schedule two, we are going to put incredible pressure on the psychiatric system in this state,” Hogue said.
The proposed reclassification was blocked by lawmakers last week.