Definition - What does Schedule III mean?
Schedule III is a classification of the Federal regulatory status of a class of medications and other drugs. It is a subclass of substances with limited medical benefits and a moderate to low potential for dependence. Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs comprise schedule III classification including anabolic steroids, Ketamine, Vicodin, medicines with 90 milligrams (mg) of codeine per dose, and testosterone. State laws may be different concerning possession of a schedule III substance. The intent to sell carries rigorous penalties including a ten-year jail sentence and/or a substantial fine up to $500,000 for first-time offenders.
WorkplaceTesting explains Schedule III
Prescription drugs listed as a schedule III substance are subject to packaging and distribution control regulations. Dentists, licensed medical practitioners, optometrists, and veterinarians have exclusive authority to write prescriptions containing the “Rx-only” symbol on labels. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) applies strict rules in intercepting illegal manufacturing and distribution of schedule III prescription drugs.
Since the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, DEA guidelines prevent federal and state legislatures in reaching a consensus about classifying supposed dangerous drugs as a schedule III substance. For instance, many states have proposed bills that would designate marijuana as schedule III. The basis for this decision reflects objective case report studies indicating that cannabis helps fight cancer combined with other remedial effects. Schedule III classification can extend research programs in uncovering the medicinal value of cannabis altogether.
In addition, the DEA has reclassified previous schedule III hydrocodone-compound medications such as Vicodin and Norco, for example, as schedule II substances due to mass opioid abuse.