Pain Patients and Access To Medications: Unintended Victims of the War On Drugs?
November 8, 2013•9 min
The War On Drugs often claims unintended victims, patients with serious economic, cognitive, physical or mobility issues, who need convenient, timely access to their pain medications.The War On Drugs often claims unintended victims, patients with serious economic, cognitive, physical or mobility issues, who need convenient, timely access to their pain medications. So typically, prescriptions don't get filled or people try and make due by cutting pills to make them last longer.Community pharmacists share concerns regarding the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Abuse of these drugs can ruin lives, devastate families and has contributed to dangerous crimes against pharmacies," says guest Dr. B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association.. Aggressive anti-drug abuse efforts must be balanced with preserving legitimate patient access to necessary prescription drugs. This legislation, while well-intentioned, fails that test. It would create significant hardships for many and delay relief for vulnerable patients with legitimate chronic pain, especially those in nursing home and long-term care settings.The issue we're discussing is an FDA proposal to re-schedule hydrocodone-containing products, like Vicodin®, moving them to the more restrictive Schedule II from Schedule III, which could significantly delay patient access by eliminating phoned-in prescriptions, stopping prescription refills and, in some cases, prohibiting electronic prescribing.