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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:09 pm 
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Sorry if I sound pissed, but I am. 3+ weeks ago, when I made the appt. to see the Sub dr. his nurse said they prescribed bupre', but today, the day of my appt., I was told they went to the new films and don't do buprenorphine scripts anymore. I have no insurance so generic was gonna cost me $255.00. Films, well over $600.00. We all know why the films came out, RB was losing stranglehold of the market. Can you force, the best you can, a dr. to prescribe generic meds? If not, I went through 3 days of hell trying to get as sober as I can for this appt for nothing. I can't pay for "something new". I held up my end of the bargin, how bout the docs'?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:14 pm 
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You must have been on generic subutex, right? Did you come out and tell the doctor that without going generic you can't afford treatment? Are you uninsured? Have you checked into the patient assistance program? (There's some info posted under the Links section). On that program the meds are free for one year. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. I don't blame you for being upset though. That's a HUGE difference in price - and PER MONTH! If I didn't have my insurance I sure couldn't afford treatment either. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:30 pm 
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I haven't had a chance to get onto Suboxone/Subutex. Today was gonna be the day. When I called to see if the dr. was taking patients, I was to told, "yes". I asked if they prescribe generic Suboxone(buprenorphine) and was told yes. I called 5 MINUTES later to double-check, and again was told, "if there's a generic version, they prescribe it". Now, when I called to make sure my appt. was still on, I was told they switched to the "film". I asked what happened between the 3 weeks since we talked and was told to talk to the dr. I've always been on methadone, and no, I don't have any insurance. I'm ready to take all my Vicodin and go to the methadone clinic tomorrow. Not what I wanted, but neither is this. You can read my story in the "introduction" section.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:09 pm 
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I'm sorry I didn't recall the rest of your story. If it were me, I would call the doctor's office back and ask if they have any spots open for the patient assistance program. Each doctor is allowed 3 patients on that program. I really hope this doesn't screw things up for you. Keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:11 pm 
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I don't know if this confusion is entering into this story or not, but quadracersteve keeps referring to "generic Suboxone". Unfortunately, at this time, there is no such thing. While the patent has ran out (nearly one year ago) a generic for Suboxne has yet to come out on the market. There is a generic "Subutex" but that is NOT the same as Suboxone. It is missing the naloxone that is a part of Suboxone. Some doctors have decided not to prescribe Subutex (brand or generic) because the Narcan (naloxone) is not in it. So when you asked if the doc would give you "generic Suboxone" whomever you spoke with told you that, yes, if such a generic is available, they will prescribe it for you. Had you asked them if he would prescribe generic "Subutex" I'm betting they would have said no. Just a guess but either way, it sounds like your doc is like many of the others out there who will not prescribe Subutex - only Suboxone.

I for the life of me cannot figure out why a drug company has yet to come out with generic Suboxone. With addiction levels rising everyday, you would think some drug company would see the wisdom in offering generic Suboxone. Is our economy that depressed that even drug companies are not willing to take a risk on new products anymore?

How often does a drug with sales as large as Suboxone go off patent and a generic doesn't show up on the market? C'mon, it's been a year already!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:56 am 
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donh wrote:
I for the life of me cannot figure out why a drug company has yet to come out with generic Suboxone. With addiction levels rising everyday, you would think some drug company would see the wisdom in offering generic Suboxone. Is our economy that depressed that even drug companies are not willing to take a risk on new products anymore?

How often does a drug with sales as large as Suboxone go off patent and a generic doesn't show up on the market? C'mon, it's been a year already!


I'm not so sure the sales compare with other drugs like, say, Lipitor. Because, remember, here in the US, doctors are severely limited to how many patients they can prescribe for. I'm sure that has a negative impact on sales.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:36 am 
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My doctor doesn't know his a-hole from his arm. I asked specifically if they wrote scripts for buprenorphine, they said "yes". I asked the dr., he said "no", and I got "yes" from his nurse. $255.00/month for bupre. Almost $600.00 for Suboxone. I asked him about the patient assist program, he told me to go home, print out the paperwork for it, fill it out and bring it to him. I just spoke with someone from RB, and they say that ONLY doctors can get those applications. He needs to get it for me and then have me fill it out. RB said they changed that years ago. Sends me to the most expensive place to pick up, (almost $10.00 a pill). Gets my hopes up by saying he has a couple spots left on the PAP, but already has 3 patients on it. He says he can take 5. I know it's 3 a year. Yes, it works. I'm thrilled I don't have to go to the clinic EVERY DAY but are these doctors really that out of touch with the meds they prescribe? Doesn't RB send in "fake" shoppers to see how well the doctor is informing the patient about the drug he is about to get? It's scarry when you're going in for surgery and the only person in the room that has even heard of Suboxone/Subutex is the anesthesiaologist.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:44 am 
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"Doesn't RB send in "fake" shoppers to see how well the doctor is informing the patient about the drug he is about to get?"

I really had to laugh when I read this. Coming from the medical community side of things, this just never happens and is laughable. But then I thought about it more and honestly, quadracersteve asks a very good and legitimate question. The more I thought about it, the more I think that I am the one who is jaded here. It really is not an unreasonable expectation that a company would want to make sure that those who prescribe their products know what they are doing. It's just that I am pretty sure that this NEVER happens. So long as a doctor prescribes a lot and often, all is good.

I don't know if this makes it any easier to take or not, but from my experience, this is not at all just related to Suboxone. Doctors are often woefully under-educated when it comes to a lot of drugs and new procedures. Not to let them off the hook but healthcare today is so much more about insurance, programs, regulations, etc. that the doctor-patient relationship is just no longer much at all like it used to be. Doctors have all they can do to be able to spend all of ten minutes with a patient. They often don't have the time to try to keep up with the latest information and research. That is why it is so important for the drug reps to be able to get in and educate the docs. According to Dr. J, the makers of Suboxone have done a piss poor job of educating - and I think we all are seeing the results of that.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:58 pm 
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Some reason I had WalMart in my mind (Christmas is gettin close), that's how the "hidden shopper" got in there. I already knew the answer, but it does make sense. Who wants a dr. to OD a patient on a med that is perfectly safe, but he/she doesn't know enough about it. It would't be a strech that it would be like me writing a script after I read something about "drug X" on-line. I thought I read somewhere that to get a license to prescribe Suboxone, all you get is an 8 hour course on how to dose, etc.. Sure hope that's wrong. Anyways, hopefully his ignorance is gonna help me. If he thinks that people still get the papers on RB's website for patient assist and hasn't gotton(sp) any for his newer patients recently, maybe there will still be an opening. It's only good for one year, right? Still waiting to hear back about the paperwork though.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:10 pm 
It's really not laughable. Drug companies pay reps to go around handing out coffee mugs and pens and free gifts (not to mention free lunches). Why couldn't they pay someone to pose as a patient? Some of the docs I've read about on this website would be shut down in a heartbeat if they were tested this way.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:58 pm 
Yeah....it actually isn't all that laughable. I have a couple of friends who manage large medical practices. They've both discussed with me that they are working on setting up a 'system' in which they will set up 'dummy' patients/charts and place them in the practice. The plan being to have potentially myself or some others pose as these patients and work through the practice's system from interactions with the front office staff to MAs and RNs, doctors, etc and then evaluate the quality of care received. Essentially acting as a 'secret shopper' for health care. Obviously there are issues that would have to be worked through in order for something like this to work, but the doctors and office managers are really wanting to pursue doing something like this. They want to know if their practices are performing to the standard they desire.
On the drug or equipment rep side of things......I've had some experience with that as well. Patients receiving some medical devices are being asked to consent to follow-up phone calls from the rep's superior to inquire as to the level of satisfaction with the device and the device rep's treatment of the patient. Further, patient's undergoing surgical procedures are being called by hospital personnel and given a survey as to their experiences with their facility and staff.
Obviously, that's different than a 'secret shopper' but along a similar line. Truth is, in my opinion, the drug companies should be sending someone in to ensure that doctors are properly informing and educating patients. Because if they are not, it would seem that eventually the drug would fall out of favor due to patient dissatisfaction, thereby reducing prescriptions written and sales of the drug, affecting the bottom line of the drug company. And God knows they don't want that to happen!
But, no....right now, I doubt RB cares a bit....they're making plenty of $$$ and they've managed to keep the flow going by putting out the film and pushing it as preferable to the tabs which are now open to be produced generically. It's all about money honey! Too bad!


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