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American Cancer Society Expert Urges FDA Panel to Oppose Reduced Access to Effective Pain Medications

January 25, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 25, 2013 – An American Cancer Society expert testified today at a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee on the potential danger to cancer patients of rescheduling certain pain medications. Rebecca Kirch, the Society’s director of quality of life and survivorship, said such a move would make drugs that include hydrocodone combinations more difficult to access by cancer patients experiencing pain and suffering.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy affiliate of the Society, partnered with health professional organizations in 2009 to conduct a study which found that similar regulatory changes interfered substantially with patient access to quality pain care and resulted in needless suffering. In her testimony, Kirch asked the committee to consider the study findings to ensure that regulatory actions meant to reduce abuse and misuse of the drugs do not have the unintended consequence of impeding access for the many people who use these medications appropriately and effectively to ease their pain.

Read the full testimony for more information.

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. 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, visit

Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
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