New FDA rules for Vicodin and Lortab/No more phoned in scripts.

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rjbeck
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Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 241
   Posted 11/1/2013 8:30 AM (GMT 0)   

THURSDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended tighter controls on prescriptions for painkillers such as Vicodin and Lortab that contain the powerful narcotic hydrocodone.

The change will cut in half the number of refills that patients can get before seeing their doctor to get a new prescription, the agency said Thursday.

Patients also will have to take a prescription to their pharmacy to have it filled, rather than have a doctor call it in.

The FDA announced that it will also ask in mid-December that all prescription medications containing hydrocodone be reclassified as "Schedule II" medications.

As Schedule II drugs, these painkillers will be subject to the same type of strict control as other narcotics with the highest potential for abuse, including OxyContin, methadone, fentanyl, Adderall and Ritalin.

The FDA has been spurred to action by epidemic levels of prescription drug abuse in the United States, said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the agency's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The agency struggled over the impact that the change might have on patients, she said, but decided that public health concerns have become paramount.

"These are very difficult tradeoffs that our society has to make," Woodcock told The New York Times. "The reason we approve these drugs is for people in pain. But we can't ignore the epidemic on the other side."

Dr. Lynn Webster, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, said: "This decision will mean there will be far less hydrocodone prescribed, and far less of it diverted [for abuse]. There will be an increase in health care costs due to more frequent office visits and co-pays, but it will take a bite out of the prescription drug crisis. We can't have status quo. We can't be doing what we have been doing for the last two decades."

The new regulations could take effect as early as next year, Woodcock said. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services must approve the recommendation before it can be adopted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which has been pushing for tougher regulation of hydrocodone medications.

Patients currently can refill a prescription for a drug containing hydrocodone five times during a six-month period before having to return to their doctor for a new prescription.

The new regulations would cut that period down to three months before a new prescription is required.http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_141876.html

 


AVASCULAR-NECROSIS (AVN) in 6 joints. HIPS,KNEE'S and SHOULDERS.
SEVERE RESTRICTIVE/OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE due to
BRONCHIECTASIS-THORACOTOMY with DECORDICATION
MED'S-Methadone 100mg's.
Became sick in 2005 at 38 now 46

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8447
   Posted 11/1/2013 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
No wonder why I'm getting scripts to hand carry, my doctor used to just fax these over to my pharmacy.
Thanks for the heads up...
I might send a bill to the President for my co-pays and deductibles next year...So mad all of these are going up for us and it's not fair or right. I have to get pictures of my eye's every 4 months because of macular degeneration and it all goes toward the overall deductible, as it's a procedure in no way is that right...wait til y'all get your bills...
Maybe if we all sent our bills to the President...paying $50. to see the specialist and I have 5 specialist, not fair that this is going up as well...and yet Insurance get a huge profit, no way. I want their Christmas bonus!
Stop the big Insurance profits, stop these...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/1/2013 9:34 AM (GMT -7)   
This hasn't been made Law. yet. But, it will be sometime in 2014. Meds like Lortab, Vicodin, Norco, hydrocodone combination products will all be classified as a Schedule II. This also includes cough meds that contain hydrocodone. Schedule II meds cannot be refilled, you must have a new written rx. This will be Federal Law so it will affect everyone in all 50 states.

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/1/2013 9:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Does anyone else see an inexplicable and illogical discrepancy between classifying Vicodin the same as Fentanyl?
 
Who makes these decisions?  Do they have an education?
 
 
 
M.

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/1/2013 10:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Merrida, the FDA is recommending it based on the REMS Advisory Committee that met in Jan of this yr. Next the FDA will recommend/ask DHH & DEA to change the law.

The strange thing to me is that the FDA just approved Zohydro ER, which is hydrocodone alone. And this was advised against by the same REMS Advisory Committee. So in other words, the FDA went along with the recommendations of the REMS Advisory Committee with rescheduling of hydrocodone containing producrs, yet it went against the same committees recommendation when it came to Zohydro ER.

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/1/2013 10:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Why do I get the feeling the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing?
 
 
M.

dottie9999
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 11/1/2013 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had to see my PC every 4 months for the past 2yrs. Does this include a faxed script from the Dr no more?  Wow so you must go to DR get script get to pharmacy and wait for it to be filled. My pharmacy does not have any waiting area so extra cost on the pharmacy to install a waiting area or loss of PT'S besides dealing with a PT. who has chronic pain waiting......for how long?           

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/1/2013 10:42 PM (GMT -7)   
dottie9999, if you take any of these meds, once the laws are changed you will need a new written rx each time because there are no refills on Schedule II. I doubt the pharmacy's will do anything to make it easier on us. Remember we really don't need these meds or so the professionals who do not suffer from chronic pain say.

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/2/2013 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
That is one of the most unjust aspects of these rulings.
 
The people making these decisions about what is or isn't "appropriate" dosing, are bureaucrats, most of whom have no medical experience, training, or degree.  They're the pencil pushers, they're exclusively businessmen looking for the best way to maximize their investments with blatant disregard and no consideration for the very patients who will be affected by their rulings.
 
It frustrates me no end that those very people, who not only have exceptional health insurance the majority of us could never afford or be privileged enough to be provided with,....insurance that exempts them from the hoops,....they are the ones making uninformed decisions about what's "appropriate" for our health care.
 
They don't know us, they don't know our doctors, they don't know our history, and they lump together individual cases with those of us who have spent years building rapport, trust, and guidance to achieve a balance in how we're able to get on with our lives.
 
They're total strangers making decisions about our lives.
 
 
 
M.

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/2/2013 10:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Merrida, you're so right. And there is one Senator that started some stuff a few yrs ago that has trickled down and add to the mix. Senator Charles Grassley sent a letter to a number of states in March 2010 asking about high prescribing Medicaid drs. The fact that the stats did not state if a dr was at a hospital, hospice, clinic or office wasn't included. Neither was it included in the stats if others drs wrote under one drs name/number. He has followed up with more letters and demands. Even though this started out involving Medicaid it has grown to Medicare. And because private insurance companies often follow down the same road when it comes to things like this, everyone is affected. Except, of course the ones you mentioned. This is not just pain meds, it also involves some psy meds. When someone is on Medicaid their meds are listed in the Medicaid database as well as the PMP database. If someone doesn't have Medicaid, then there is only the PMP database for the dr and pharmacist to check.

Grassley Probes High-Volume Medicaid Prescribers-
http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Medicaid/30857?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyHeadlines&utm_source=

Grassley Pursues Prescription Drug Abuse in Medicaid, Medicare-
http://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/Article.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1502=39902

vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2804
   Posted 11/2/2013 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
We've just been given a heads-up that our supplemental insurance to Medicare will be more than likely be canceled. My husband and I are 67 years old...

I'm so happy that I will now have to pay for Pediatric Dentistry, maternity benefits, vasectomies, pre-natal care, abortion, (I hope that one gets voted down by our state) and other useless provisions that I will never use. On the other hand, my husbands glucose strips are not covered and we once again have to switch meters. The gov't knows better than my doctor what is best for us.

For those of you with fibromyalgia, there is some kind of nebulous provision in this new law that regards this condition, along with Gulf War Syndrome, CFS and other 'syndromes' as 'catch all' conditions so I'm waiting for the crack down on treatments and medications for these things to be limited. OWIE. As if it's not hard enough to find a doctor that is truly sympathetic towards fibro anyway. It's an 'eye roller' disease. OWIE, again.

Good luck to all of you...I know we are not supposed to get political but as long as we continue to eat tuna fish so the powers that be can eat steak...it's not going to change.

Donna

dottie9999
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 11/2/2013 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
requiring to see Dr every month what happens once "ACA" and MANY DR'S LEAVE so how long will we have to wait for an apt?   

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/2/2013 4:16 PM (GMT -7)   
This new Federal Law Will Not Go Into Effect Until Sometimes in 2014. It will take a little while for the laws to actually be rewritten. Hopefully, this will give pts time to talk to their drs and ask them if they will have any affect on their current meds and if so, exactly how. There are many drs, who aren't Pain Drs, who are very hesitant to rx Schedule II meds.

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/2/2013 7:16 PM (GMT -7)   
On the front page of MSN it already discussed how millions of people are suffering "sticker shock" and even NOW, being forced to buy policies, some needing to fully cancel their existing ones and start from scratch.  The majority being sent letters stating the insurance they now have will not only be cancelled but the ACA is, at least in four states listed, are limited to providers only in your state.  Many doctors are opting out.  And we have no choice.
 
In a few of the examples, people have had to pay six times more than they were for their premiums (even with subsidies), and in some plans, deductibles have been raised from $2500 up to $12,500.00.
 
This is insane, and frankly it scares me to death!!
 
My Husband is extremely healthy, never so much as a cold.  But me? I'm always using benefits, getting surgeries, am on a lot of Rx's,....the list goes on.
 
I'm afraid for our family's future.  It's making me panic and try to rush to get as much of my medical care and procedures down now before this financial requirement bankrupts our family.  We just cannot afford this....
 
 
 
M.

dottie9999
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 11/2/2013 9:41 PM (GMT -7)   
We don't know so what do we tell our kids save for college or "ACA"

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/3/2013 12:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I think the kids are benefiting in a way.
 
Since the new coverage rules require we have things like maternity leave, etc.,...to those of us who'll never need such care, we're paying for those that do but cannot afford it.
 
But that's a good point.  ACA is costing more than college at this rate.
 
 
 
M.

Linds_
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 853
   Posted 11/3/2013 7:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm a fan of the affordable care act... I just wish they hadn't made insurance mandatory. And now college students can be covered on their parents insurance until 26 which is very important to me since my son goes to college in 2015.

But I do think we should steer clear of political discussions on this forum or an important thread can end up locked. :0)
Chronic Pain Warrior since 2007
Diagnosed in 2007 - Chronic Pelvic Pain and Stage 3 Endometriosis
PM Patient since 2009

My daily Goal - to make at least one person smile a day. Smiles are contagious and create a ripple effect... that one smile may lead to a miracle! :0)

Post Edited (QT_Pye78) : 11/3/2013 6:52:02 AM (GMT-7)


Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/3/2013 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
For what it is worth, the new Federal Laws for rescheduling hydrocodone have nothing to do with the healthcare laws going into affect Jan 1, 2014. One may be affected by the other from the standpoint of having to go to the dr more often and what meds will be covered and won't be covered when it is for chronic pain that is not cancer related. But the new laws with health insurance and the changes of the old laws for the meds come from to entirely different and seperate places

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8447
   Posted 11/3/2013 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Problem is that this is being enforced now, my doctor has now handed me scripts for the past two months that I've had to hand carry. Before all this they called or faxed them. so these regulations are being enforced now, even though they go into effect next year, my Doctor is doing this now....
Changes are coming and it is stemmed from the ACA.
Mercy&Grace the ACA is federal law and these new rules are going into effect with the ACA, people around the United States are being effect and getting dropped by their insurance carriers Kaiser already made cuts, a couple in PA are getting dropped and rates across the globe are going up, and this little prescription involvement is just a newer twist in all this and its being enforced already. Insurance changes are tied to medication as well...Things are only going to get harder. Just wait until January...
It's all tied to the ACA.
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

Mercy&Grace
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1165
   Posted 11/3/2013 3:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Chartreux, all I can say is that most drs aren't doing it that way now. And those that do, it is their choice. Maybe they are trying to get pts use to the changes before they go into affect.

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/3/2013 4:52 PM (GMT -7)   
As for me, personally, my individual post,...it is not intended as some type of segue into a political foray.  I am not discussing politics for politics sake, but admitting that I feel genuinely afraid, regardless of any names in politics.
 
I am expressing my grave concern that the very real possibility of losing my health insurance, or of it becoming so expensive, that I will be coerced into not having my care.
 
For some people, such as myself, who require seeing medical professionals several times every month, I am genuinely frightened, I'm at a loss, I fear for my ability to continue to take care of myself.
 
Personally, I postponed much medical care and several surgeries because even with what's currently great insurance, I was put off by the expense, I was afraid of having what turned out to be very extensive and invasive surgeries.  When I finally got the courage to begin this process, for me, it's been a series of repeated surgeries, and extensive visits to cover so many aspects of my health.
 
I am merely expressing that I'm concerned about the fate of my health, that I don't know what to do as this moves forward, that I'm afraid of losing ground after I gained so much.  This is irrespective of any political office and without agenda.
 
This is purely me being afraid of my future care.  That is it, and there is nothing beyond that to be read into this.
 
Like some before me, I merely reported what I had read in articles on the news that has the potential to affect all of us with severe health problems.  There is no "personal opinion bias" in this.
 
 
 
M.

Linds_
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 853
   Posted 11/3/2013 5:11 PM (GMT -7)   
And like you there are people who support it and if people start going back and forth it can get ugly. Its happening so we all need to prepare how we can for the changes coming. Kinda like the changes in medication schedules and how we get prescriptions. Nothing we can do but deal with it unfortunately.

That's just my opinion. Even our mods have referred to the aca without saying it by name to avoid this hot button topic that is political no matter how we try to dress it up as something else.

Of course I'm not a mod so what do I know?

I'll gracefully bow out. :0)
Chronic Pain Warrior since 2007
Diagnosed in 2007 - Chronic Pelvic Pain and Stage 3 Endometriosis
PM Patient since 2009

My daily Goal - to make at least one person smile a day. Smiles are contagious and create a ripple effect... that one smile may lead to a miracle! :0)

Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 11/3/2013 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey all,

I wouldn't lock the thread at this point..... but I do ask that we steer clear of making things political.

There's one thing to mention fear of losing insurance, increased costs, etc -- very appropriate things that are real fears.... but when you start pointing fingers at different groups - it DOES start to enter the gray area.....

If there are people that want to talk more in depth about this issue from a political standpoint, that's great -- just take it to Facebook or email. I've had MANY conversations about things w/ other members - about things that wouldn't be forum appropriate.

Take care all --

Tina
Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Merrida
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 4771
   Posted 11/3/2013 7:34 PM (GMT -7)   
My post was simply conveying front page news,...articles not written by me.
 
I have not passed a personal judgment on anything relating to politics.
 
Similarly, as the topics have been brought up about Medicare coverage (by name), Medicaid (by name), Disability (by name),....  Similarly as discussions have been brought up about new laws being passed which greatly affect the impact of how we will all have to change how we've been getting care and medication for years....
 
There is no difference.  And there is no qualifying agenda.
 
Just as others have done before me, I'm merely citing the news in polite terms at that, and sharing what I've read.  This news does impact us all and just as we now face new scrutiny in our CP care, medication, written vs. faxed scripts, reclassification, being turned away, driving hours to find a PMC, the restrictions on prescribing....
 
These are all arms of the same situation that affects CP patients among many others.
 
The only point I wish to make is that like many others, I am going to feel a large impact with the new changes in the laws that affect how we can seek PM care, obtain our meds, and new guidelines on who will dictate and determine "what care we REALLY need," regardless of what our doctors say.
 
I haven't singled anyone or anything out.  I feel the pain that we're all going to feel, and I would be lying if I didn't say that I am quite scared and concerned over what will happen and what I will or can't do to take care of my health.  I am genuinely frightened.
 
 
M.

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 8447
   Posted 11/3/2013 9:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Sorry to Mercy&Grace, in no way did I mean this personally to you. was just trying to get a heads up of things to come...nothing bad to you...
I know we need some regulations on medical care, but ...and it is scary the changes a coming...Insurance companies are also doing some strong arming for a profit...and yet we lose...
Changes we needed granted, reform we could all do without...
Just my 2 cents opinion...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******
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