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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 1:28 pm 
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Hello to all!

I came to this forum, as I was looking for Patient Assistance Programs for Suboxone. I have been on Suboxone since I left a two month rehab for opiates and alcohol. ~I ‘d been on some sort of opiate since I first herniated a disk, Sept. of 1996.~ There is much more history I will delve into soon, but for now only the question ~ relevant items. The pain mgmt MD I was seeing before I went to rehab, had been prescribing Oxycontin 40mg three times daily. I don’t believe he was aware of my drinking problem…I wouldn’t even admit to myself that I was an alcoholic for quite some time; but if I didn‘t drink, what would I do with myself?

After a 60 day inpatient rehab stay I went back to the same physician, and I started the Suboxone program @ 24mg per day. I was also seeing a counselor one or two times a week to help with my issues, I attended 90 in 90, but slowly tapered off the AA/NA meetings altogether, reading the BB and daily devotions myself.

I’ve been married for 24 years and during that time, my spouse has never been out of work for more than 2 days. His last employer was the best he ever had, a dream position, with more money than he’d ever made! (I know discussing money is gauche, forgive me, but I want you to understand my situation.) I haven’t worked since Feb, 2002 due to back injury and other health issues), but with my husband’s paycheck, I didn’t have to suffer through work any longer, and I haven’t been back since. Long story short, he lost his job in March, 2009 and hasn’t found work since. (He has back issues as well, but he didn’t abuse his medication, he was just my co-dependant guy!) This info was so you would understand what a panic I was and still am in. We lost our COBRA coverage because it wasn’t paid on time, as there was gross miscommunication about making the March payment. Now, we have no medical insurance, and many pre-existing conditions. I’ve applied for other health insurance policies, but have to wait before they get additional medical information to see if they will accept us.

In the meantime, I saw my PM MD, and explained this to him. He suggested I look into the Pt. Assist Program for Suboxone, I gathered paperwork, and the doc's office applied. Because I would be out of Suboxone before we heard from the program, he wrote an Rx for generic Subutex. No one within 50 miles of my home in South Alabama has the generic. From what I have read on this board, the price wouldn’t have been that much better. I ended up borrowing money (we are receiving less than $1,000/month in unemployment, our outgoing is roughly $2-$3,000,(rude again, sorry!) and paid $10/tablet for Brand Subutex. My husband also takes Subutex for pain management and so he will not be tempted to take anything else. He was dependent, but wasn’t an addict, however his dosage crept up over time, with the Orthopaedic doc.

My doc’s nurse called last week and told me that I had been turned down for the program, as I was taking the Suboxone for opiate abuse prophylaxis AND pain management. She gave me no other information, just that they turned me down because I took the med for pain mgmt (that is not okay? I suppose, but I don’t see a problem with it, and have no rationale that makes sense to me) I have been looking and surfing, trying to locate any info on this, re: do I have an appeal time limit, can I even appeal?

I am sorry this is so long, I wanted you to have a bit of my background so you could better understand. If I’m rambling, again, I apologize. However, this is a call to help, I am desperate. I would appreciate ANY info from anyone that has experience with the program…do they first deny everyone, then approve if you persist?

I thank you in advance for your responses, and look forward to anything you may have to say on this topic.

Little.Time.Out


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Hi little.time.out, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that you're going through such a hard time right now.

I don't have first hand experience with Reckitt's patient-assistance program, but my best friend was on it for 2 years. She was accepted right away when she applied, so I don't think they reject everyone on their first application. I don't know if there is an appeal process either, I would suggest calling Reckitt if you haven't done that.

I'm so sorry that I don't have any better advice for you. Usually I would suggest cutting your sub doseage as low as possible, but since you take it for pain that might not be useful to you. Maybe your pain management doctor will have a better idea - I know there are people who take methadone to manage pain, and it is far cheaper than suboxone/subutex. I don't know if your pain mgmt doc will prescribe it to you or if you'd have to go to a clinic to get it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 3:24 pm 
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I am so sorry to hear about your predicament. This is an awful position to be in and I am glad that you continue to look for options that will keep you sober and you have not given in or given up. I am going to make a guess with the assistance program. My guess is that the only reason they have this program is because of people whose insurance won't cover it, etc. When you are using it for pain control, I think they assume you will be able to get insurance that will cover the subutex for pain control versus addiction, where many insurance companies are only now starting to cover small portions of it. This is only a guess.

Have either of you applied for SSDI? If you didn't while your husband was still working, then you should now. Also, you can go to the local welfare office to obtain some sort of assistance. I don't know what it covers in terms of this. I wish I had a solution for you :( I hope someone else has ideas.

Cherie


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:32 am 
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Hi and welcome to the forum. The position you're in truly sucks and I'm sorry you hear about it. I don't have any experience with the patient-assistance program either. I would also encourage you to file for SSDI, what have you got to lose? Does your county have any medical insurance program for people such as you? I'm in Michigan and I know my county has such a program.

As for Reckitt, I somehow doubt that they have a formal appeal process. That, however, does not prevent you from responding to their denial. Did you doctor have to fill something out for the initial application? If not I would enlist his help. I would stress to Reckitt that your main reason for taking suboxone is for opiate addiction and the pain management thing is an added bonus. I think you get the idea. Again, what have you got to lose?

Oh and your local community mental health agency should also have a sub abuse section/program that might be able to assist you or direct you in the right direction. Make use of all those local agencies - that's what they're there for.

Hang in there and please keep posting, at the very least you can vent and get some support.

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:42 am 
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hi I was just on the pt asst program for a year (they told me the max they will cover someone is for ayear, so Im curious to know how someone was on it for 2 yrs, cause I will reapply if I have to) anyway, I believe if you get turned down you can reapply every three months. I'm not sure about an appeal though. They should have that info on their website. Have you tried searching it or call the 1 800 number they have. Good luck and KUP!


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:49 pm 
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I have to think that somewhere there would have to be "rules" or guidelines or something that spells out how this program works, what the parameters are, the regulations, etc. I strongly suggest that you check with your doctor or Reckitt directly and ask for the written details on the assistance program. If they have an appeal process, if there is an ability to extend past a year, if they do not allow patients using the medication for pain, and pretty much any other "rule" that they have - all of it will be in the written word. In this day and age, it's pretty odd that a company would not have a multitude of attorneys write all of this stuff down. See if you can get a copy.

As for the denial for pain, my best guess is that there are many other options for pain management when it comes to medications but there really is only one other medication (methadone) that can be used for opiate addiction. I really wonder if they are trying to focus on helping those who are addicted rather than in pain. If you do re-apply, it would be great to see if your doctor would consider not listing your pain management issues. Some docs are very good about "working the system" while others are very "by the book". Hopefully you doctor will be willing to creatively narrate your situation to your benefit.


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Hello to all!

Thank you so much for responding, and wow! The supportive remarks have been quite kind, thank you! To answer your questions;

I truly do not want to get into Methadone, unless I have to, as the ladies I was in rehab with stated that Methadone was the worst addiction, worse than heroin, and very hard to come off of. Also I don't think my PM MD would approve that, however, I will bring it up the next time I see him.

I don't know if I submitted sufficient documentation to prove we have no medical insurance, and am wondering if that has anything to do with it. I gave my MD my husbands award letter from the Alabama Dept of H&H Services, also the letter from the COBRA administrator giving notice of cancellation. Anything else I could submit, I did.

I have looked on several websites for information, and other than date of award, (ie: we will allow you 3 months of meds, then you must reapply), income limits for your household, proof of no health or pharm insurance. There are no other requirements that I could find. There is a blurb on the website that states the MD should write an appeal letter to the Mgr of the program. I am not sure how far my MD will be willing to go, his nurse didn't seem too upset when she told me I wasn't accepted. Obviously she has never been an addict, she is not near as helpful as his last nurse.

I am really starting to become antsy about all of this. I cannot borrow any more money from anyone (46 yrs old and having to borrow $$ to keep the electricity on, among other things) How horrible is that? I feel I would be happy right now to go back to rehab and get some intense therapy. I am starting to see triggers around the corner, and that isn't good, but I don't know what I will do if I can't get some sort of assistance. It was the ONLY thing I could think about today. :cry:

I have considered filling for SSD, in the past my Ortho doc told me I would be able to receive it, due to the amount and kind of meds I was on. However I always felt that program was not for me, as I could go back to work "one day", so I never filed, and now I wish I had done this years ago.

I plan to call whomever I need to, in order to clarify specific guidelines tomorrow. If I receive any more info, I will update. Again, thank you for your support and I look forward to many posts in this forum.

Regards,
:)
LTO


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:42 pm 
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i used to be on methadone for pain treatment and due to me getting addicted to coke and heroin i sold my scripts and got droped i am now on subs for heroin addiction and in my oppinoin methadone worked much better for the pain then subs do and as far as the price i had no insurance and for 105 40 mg tablets it cost $40 it is much cheaper and helps the pain better. hope this helps.


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