I was extremely polite to both my doctors office and pharmacy when calling for the 5 days I went without an important prescription. Let me start by saying that I agree with the DEA’s battle with big pharma and this nations struggle with prescription drug abuse.
My experience in this matter comes from an 18 yr struggle with substances starting in 2000 when this whole mess began. I am 100% on the side of the DEA when it comes to SOME of its members trying to defend the population from “big pharma’s” over stocking of pharmacies in small town USA. This combined with a fine tuned campaign directed at doctors offices that bribe, corrupt, and enrich SOME doctors by providing everything from meals, vacations, and even cash kickbacks for writing their scripts over cheaper alternatives. This does not even address the monopoly and unfair competition that our government allows big pharma to practice in.
Buying out companies with cheaper alternatives to breakthrough meds and shelving them in order to hike up it’s own prices on the same Med(consider Canadian scripts). This causes most of our prescription drug and healthcare cost issues. All that being said, I had a legit refill on a medication that my doctor and I have spent yrs diagnosing and fine tuning. This was for Lorazapam .5mg.
I take it twice a day and haven’t had a panic attack or suffered from lack of appetite or sleep since I have been on it. I have gotten married, had a child(one on the way), and own three homes since my initial struggle in my teens. This is in no small part because of the many failed prescriptions or worse side effects that my doctors and I have slogged through to get to this balance. When I found out 5 days ago that my prescription was on back order I thought nothing of it.
I was told they still had 1mg lorazapam in stock but would need my doctor to write another prescription even though 60 .5mg tabs is no different then 30 1mgs broken in half. I didn’t understand why CVS needed another script but I imagine it has something to do with all my previous statements about the DEA and the class of the drug. Keeping this in mind, I still can’t understand how the communication between a pharmacy, supplier, doctor, and patient can be so flawed that you go without a prescription that has been proven to cause death in extreme cases when dosage is abruptly ceased. I am 35 years old and my struggle to find the light has caused, a stroke, brain damage, and the loss of half of my field of vision.
Considering, after 4 yrs of testing and no conclusive answer as to cause, I’m going to go ahead and deduce from my own research that, debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, and chronic high blood pressure, is the culprit. Due to stigma, it was with some level of shgrin, I told my doctor about my anxiety in no uncertain terms. Now I would have to believe my dr. saw the efficacy this treatment provided in keeping me upright and functional.
So, the pharmacy faxed over the request to swap prescriptions from 60 .5mg to 30 1mg. Seemed simple enough. However, I believe my doctor saw it as a request for a dosage increase and refill rather then the simple 1 to 1 swap it was. My doctor denied the request, replying that he needed to see me first.
With a toddler, a wife who works full time, a demanding, “u don’t call out,” 60hr a wk job myself, and 2 investment properties, I couldn’t switch my current appt. This appt was for 11 days later! I began the pain staking process of clarifying the mistake to my doctor, whom I believed would surely see it my way after explained. Unfortunately, even though the price of health care has gone up; the level of care, access to the doctor, and depth of diagnosis/time during appt., has gone down.
Seems to me it’s quantity over quality. I say this because during 4 days of phone tag with physicians assistants and secretaries I was not able to clarify this message. Not only was I unable/denied a phone conversation with my dr, but it also seemed like his assistants who work side by side with him had the same lack of access. I don’t blame CVS, I don’t blame the DEA, I don’t blame ALL pharmaceutical companies.
(I somewhat blame my doctor) But, I believe this system as a whole is so broken that unfortunately, what has for me been a harrowing and depressing experience, has become the norm.
God help those who suffer this broken system in a way far worse then I can imagine. All I can say is vote for your health, we have only one life, without it, all else seems moot.
Product or Service Mentioned: Cvs Pharmacy Lorazepam Prescription Refill.