"Hydrocodone is a gateway drug," Schumer said, according to the report. "Many addicts turn to heroin. It's cheaper, but more dangerous."
House lawmakers have raised similar concerns about hydrocodone addiction.
The number of chronic abusers of hydrocodone in the U.S. has increased to more than 24 million since 1999, when Congress sent a petition to the agency on the issue, lawmakers said last month.