Saturn Square Neptune 2015-16 – Controls On Addictive Prescription Drugs

neptune5When I moved to my new city, I called to get an appointment with a local doctor. The receptionist, who proved to be more of a “gatekeeper” asked the usual question, “What insurance do you have?”

My insurance (United Healthcare) is not common here. I could almost see her raise an eyebrow, over the phone.

“Have you ever had any back pain?” she asked.

“Yes. I have torn discs in my back. I used to get shots for them but I’ve not needed anything in ten years.”

“I’m sorry, ma’am. The doctor is not accepting patients who have a complaint with their back.”

“What?”

“The doctor does not treat back pain.”

“I don’t have back pain. I’ve not had back pain for ten years.”

“I’m sorry, but the doctor won’t see you. He does not see patients with back pain – ever.”

I understand there is a prescription drug problem around here. If you’re not taking narcotic drugs, I strongly suggest you avoid them if you can. Otherwise, you’re eventually going to run into something like this…

I guess it varies state by state. One gal told me about someone she knows who has a prescription for a narcotic pain drug. He is subject to random drug testing?

Whaaat?

Craaazy.

I spoke with my doctor about this the other day. The drugs laws are different here than they are in Colorado. For example, I use Express Scripts which prefers prescriptions be written for 90 days rather than 30. I prefer it too, since I pay by prescription rather than by number of pills. In other words, 90 days costs the same as 30 days…

They can’t write 90 day prescriptions here on many different drugs.  Our world is strange these days. You think the law is same throughout the country – it’s not. One state requires a doctor’s visit every six months. The other requires you see the doctor every three months. Many people have long-standing prescriptions, not likely to change. You still have to go, necessary or not.

If you’re poor, too bad. If it’s hard for you to get around, too bad. In the rheumatology world, I see a lot of people who clearly struggle to get to their appointments…

I expect to see more restrictions over the next eighteen months. A lot more. It’s just another way to make innocent people pay for the sins of others. I wonder about making it so hard on people, they just want to die. It took me three phone calls to find a doctor. If I was expecting to get pain meds, I’d probably still be calling.

What are the drug laws like in your location?

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Saturn Square Neptune 2015-16 – Controls On Addictive Prescription Drugs — 25 Comments

  1. I do not know about drug laws here, but everybody my age seems to be on something. The thing that surprised me is the number of young people on pain meds. That is, until I worked on a factory floor for three weeks. That could take a toll. I would say folks here are into the easy fix. Why be ill, take a pill. How many times have I said to my contacts in health care, this or that person is taking this or that and they respond, whew, that’s severe. Big pharm, you know. And they are lining up. Pills are easy to get, treatment not so much.

  2. Colorado sounds like a dream exception. The rule is that it’s harder to get pain meds now legally than ever before. If you do have a condition that allows you pain meds, you have to keep your mouth shut whenever you deal with episodes, because so many people come out of the woodwork asking you to give them your leftover drugs, or to fake episodes of your condition to get them drugs. So the prescription black market gets larger and more powerful.

    • I work for a major insurance company and its terrible in most states, especially Florida. Doctors are fearful about prescribing narcotics.

  3. This makes me think of my husband’s seasonal allergies. He can’t obtain more than a 15 ct of Claritin-D per month here without it alerting the central “Meth Check” database. It’s very alarming to think the government has such tight restrictions on medicines for seasonal. freaking. allergies. >.<

    The government has been rumored to start really cracking down and begin regulating natural homeopathic remedies and supplements, and vitamins. So maybe this is the time they will usher that in?? I really hope not.

  4. …this seems to suggest that we are now all the pawns of a few meth heads, etc. Their problems = no help for the rest of us?

    I don’t know about the laws in my state, as I haven’t had more than basic antibiotics. Once, pain pills for a wisdom tooth extraction, but I never needed more than one pill and got by on Advil. But I bristle at the idea that Elsa is banned from doctors in this manner, and others are “reported” for legitimate needs for prescriptions, over a handful of troubled people and criminals who glide along doing as they please.

    That means they run America and rule your life choices. And that is Alice Through The Lookingglass c r a z y.

    • Thing is, I have never had a narcotic Rx in my life, except after some kind of surgery…and I have had very little surgery.

      I hate narcotic drugs. But man oh man, they could not even consider taking me as a patient.

      • Narcotic is different than psychotic drugs right? The psychotics are issued to control people’s brains? Narcotics are for pain?

  5. My sister-in-law in Texas had rotator cuff surgery a few months ago and couldn’t get hydrocondone. They gave her something easy that I can’t remember that didn’t work, and then told her she had to come back in through a pain management system and it wasn’t guaranteed. She was absolutely in unbearable pain and unable to get back in. They told her this the day after her surgery. This is torture to me. I don’t know what you’re suppose to do.

  6. Here, it’s relatively easy to get the pain killers; one can buy them over-the-counter, and many other drugs, with exception of the psychiatric drugs, and antibiotics. You need a prescription or a doctor’s report, even if you want to buy it for your own money (we still have the government-led health-care system, so we don’t have to pay full price on most of the drugs).

  7. Yes, recently my dad was taken off pain meds he had been dependant on for over 20 years..cold turkey. Nearly killed him.

    • They were for his back pain. He has broken every rib in a motorcycle accident when he was a teenager. And he has torn discs. Actually, his ribcage is slowly separating from his spine. :/

  8. They’ve gone to the other end of the spectrum. Some people need narcotics period. I remember in the old days, though, where everyone and their mother got them. NY state is very tight even w/ sleeping medication, non-narcotic, you need to present a driver’s license and almost get interrogated by the prescribing Doc. Arizona, none of that. Here in NC, when we re-order for one of our residents, her daughter has to physically get the new script from the Doc and bring it to the Pharm–every time. 30 days only, I think.

  9. I received info (and petition) this morning from Doctors Without Borders concerning the current secret negotiations about the secret provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement ongoing in Hawaii as we speak.

    ‘For pharmaceuticals and other health commodities, stronger IP regimes mean extended patent monopolies and delayed generic competition, and that translates into higher prices for people who need medicines.’

    For more info – as this will affect just about all of us in the signatory countries eventually – see here:

    http://www.msfaccess.org/spotlight-on/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement

  10. I’ve been extremely lucky healthwise. I was on and off meds for years for my anxiety and depression. A few years ago my ex needed asthma medication. No insurance. I spent an hour talking him into a road trip to Acuna, Mexico. I drove. We had our infant son in the back. Used to get my birth control pills over there. Dirt cheap.

  11. In a way, I am addicted to my over the counter vitamins. If I don’t take them for some days I don’t feel as well. I take a good multiple, b-complex, and fish oil. And then I have some immune boosting herbal supplements I take when there is sickness going around. If I did not have them I suppose I would have to cope. At the moment they can’t regulate herbs because they can’t regulate plants. I’d be growin my own, well some of them I do, if they did. Oh and then there is my morning cup of caffeine. That’s a must sometimes.

  12. Elsa, you sound like you live near where I do. The pain pill problem is so bad here in the eastern part of Kentucky, that nope, doctors won’t do much for you in the way of back issues. There were a bunch of doctors around this area from Ohio, WV, KY and TN that have been arrested for writing prescrips for druggies. When you go to the ER around here for pain, they look at you like you are nothing but a drug hungry maniac. The drug addicts have spoiled things for the legitimate people who have real problems around here.

  13. I had strep throat this last winter and was so miserable i left work and went to a nearby emergency room because i had no idea where the nearest minute clinic was located. After an hour wait the doctor asked if i needed anything for the pain in my throat and I was like, uh, of coarse…it hurts. She wrote me a prescription for robitussin. I was like “are you kidding me?” I took that back when it ephedra sold over the counter and knew it didn’t work for strep throat. I thought it was a mistake and the robitussin had some kind of pain killer in it. Nope, pharmacist thought it was a mistake too because she heard how terrible my voice was. She called the doctor who literally refused to change the prescription. I asked for a doctors note for my job because I would have to miss a day or two of work and she refused to give me that either??? I was like “So you want me to get all my coworkers sick? You can hear how bad I sound?” I could barely talk my throat was so swollen and she just left. They were so rude about it. I have no idea why it would be a problem to write me a doctors note but they dug their heels in even when i tried to complain to someone else. The receptionist tried to “get rid of me” by telling me it wasn’t contagious. I couldn’t believe my ears. A doctors office saying strep throat wasn’t contagious. There was no way i could go into work that way. Instead they sent me a $500 bill for literally nothing. They didn’t help me at all. I then had to find out where a minute clinic was located and, sick as a dog, head out to see someone else. I got my doctors note. They ordered a culture test that I had to wait 3 days for something to grow on. All the while my throat was getting worse and hurting more. I was so mad at the healthcare profession for making me suffer like that. But the way our world works nothing is approved without a doctors signature so they know they have you cornered. I think it’s more about you visiting multiple times and being able to charge your insurance multiple times instead of handling everything in one visit. Pure greed on the doctors part…they don’t get paid form healthy patients. They want you nice and sick. They want you to get all your coworkers sick too so those people will be in their office also and they’ll generate more patients. It really makes no sense any other way. A few years ago I went to doctor that required a test I had to wait for the results on and, i kid you not, this doctor refused to give me the results over the phone. I had to take time off from work to make their doctor visit and the damn thing was completely negative. There was nothing wrong??? They could’ve told me it was negative over the phone but instead decided to charge me for the doctors visit. That doesn’t include the money i lost from having to leave early at work. Pure greed!! It’s not about the “drug addicts” it’s about charging you every time you walk through the door. The more times you have to come back the more times they get paid.

  14. I’m days late to make a comment, but feel I must. I’m discouraged that people have difficulty accessing health care, and that’s even WITH health insurance! A receptionist is a receptionist, not a practitioner (my husband used to call them “the doctor’s bulldog”). “Random Comment” above had a terrible time! In 2007, I had a similar episode with what I thought was a sinus infection, no antibiotic given at the drs ofc. I was miserable, got much worse, earaches, short of breath, all the while recalling the horrible cases I saw during my nursing career: cellulitis in the tissues of the face, started w/ a “cold”; sinus infections developing into brain abscess with the patients going to surgery. “The nose is a hotline to the brain”, one of the docs said. I went to the ER that night in 2007. ER doc says yes, we don’t dispense antibiotics as freely now, “BUT…you have an infection!” We’re all aware that bacteria can develop immunity to antibiotics, and it is becoming an issue (current news on that,but won’t go into it). Also happening w/ flea/tick prevention for dogs: fleas/ticks have developed immunity to some of the earlier products. New products are available, and cost increased. As to drug testing for narcotic pain meds, good idea in some cases, e.g. patient con’t to ask for re-fills, pain mgmt doc drug tests: negative result, finds out patient was selling the prescribed drugs on the street. Also, narcan used to confirm if ‘drug sick’ vs ‘drug seeking’, and to confirm status prior to dispensing methadone. Agree w/ comment above that drug use is also illness/medical condition, but unfortunately not all who use seek help. Local news spoke of narcan as if it would end heroin epidemic- no it won’t. It does not end addiction, rather it inactivates what is onboard to prevent death from overdose, if you give it in time. One last thing, the DELIVERY of healthcare has changed over decades. It used to be a profession. 2012 year before my husband died he said to me, “There are two industries in this country; one is Petroleum,and the other is Healthcare.” He worked in the former, I worked in the latter. Wish I could say I feel better now, having said all that, but I do not. I do wish all of us well. (sorry so lengthy)

  15. I see the doctor who refused to take me on as a patient is in the paper today, toast of the town.

    Not that he doesn’t deserve it. It’s just weird, the blind spots.

    You think you are blocking bad people from your life, but your filter catches the innocent.

  16. I mentioned this incident to my local friend here today, she immediately named the doctor. She went on to tell me that she took her daughter to see him when she was 12. He told her to give her motrin and tylenol…which she did for three days. Her daughter did not improve so she called the doctor.

    The doctor told her to continue giving her motrin and tylenol so she took her to the emergency room…where they found out she had pneumonia.

    Later, when she tried to make an appointment at the doctor, the office person told her that she (her family) could no longer be seen in the office.

    Apparently the hospital called him about one of his patients…ugh.

  17. “Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

    The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    “What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?” said Dr. Judith Aberg, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She said the price increase could force hospitals to use “alternative therapies that may not have the same efficacy.”

    Turing’s price increase is not an isolated example. While most of the attention on pharmaceutical prices has been on new drugs for diseases like cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment.

    While some price increases have been caused by shortages, others have resulted from a business strategy of buying old neglected drugs and turning them into high-priced “specialty drugs.”

    Cycloserine, a drug used to treat dangerous multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, was just increased in price to $10,800 for 30 pills from $500 after its acquisition by Rodelis Therapeutics. Scott Spencer, general manager of Rodelis, said the company needed to invest to make sure the supply of the drug remained reliable. He said the company provided the drug free to certain needy patients…”

    • Yeah huh I’ll do anything alternative to not have to take pharmaceutical poison & support that it’s all about the bottom line for them crap!

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