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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:59 pm 
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I just got a notice saying my healthcare will no longer cover me due to my "preexisting condition." What is that condition you ask? Well, it's that I'm a former drug addict. Now, I have to fight my insurance for them to cover me and go through all of this redtape for who knows how long.....It's probably sitting on some desk under millions of other forms who are really people struggling to pay for healthcare. If I'm denied a second time, I'll have to apply to some program that was set up through Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and who knows how long that will take...Months? A year? I'm just floored at how inadequate healthcare is here in the United States. How you can be denied essential healthcare services for just about anything. How the richer you are, the better healthcare you are privy too in this country. FoxNews and other groups like to paint socialized medicine like in Canada and the UK as the devil yet everything I've heard from the people who have access to it rave about it....I'm just so pissed off right now. Has anyone else been denied coverage due to being an addict?

What even makes this worse is that ever since the Suboxone Strips have been released it's been RB's mission to paint Subutex as easy to abuse because of the absence of the Naloxone in it even though it's been proven thousands of time that Naloxone doesn't prevent people from abusing their medication in anyway...It only gives people headaches and makes them sweat more. The only reason RB came out with the strips was to stop Suboxone from going generic and to further tighten their grip on the recovery business.My friend in Texas says the strips just went up to 8 dollars a piece! I just pray (and I'm atheist) that my doctor will prescribe me generic Subutex for a while till I find coverage again. I just checked prices online and 60 8mg Subutex will cost me around 230 dollars versus Suboxone which in strips or tablets will cost me 400 dollars and change....Which even with that 45$ rebate card will still be 120 dollars more. While I'm going off about RB another thing they did that got me really mad was when the strips first came out they gave you a 75$ dollar rebate card that was good to use twice a month which really, really helped...Now, that they switched everyone over to t he strips and jack the prices up you can only use a $45 rebate card once a month!

I AM VERY ANGRY RIGHT NOW.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:29 am 
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It's a hard position you're in. I also don't understand why you don't have the option to exercise your power as a consumer anymore? Surely if it's cheaper to stay on Suboxone pills instead of the strips, you should have the right to purchase what's best for you.

It's such an oxymoron. How can a health insurance company deny someone insurance because of a pre-existing health condition? Such an idea angers me.

Have you talked to your doctor and explained your situation? Is he a good doctor? (ie does he listen?) Ask him if by his assessment you are a risk to divert medication. If he says no, you have good argument to question why he can't prescribe it. If he kept refusing, and your finance came to dire straits, would it be an option to vote with your feet & find a more reasonable doctor?

Do you have an advocacy group for people on methadone and buprenorphine? Search around. If you find one, such groups can be powerful ally's in getting your needs met.

Subutex is a difficult one. In my country, it was very widely abused. Our needle exchange facilities were giving out more "wheel filters" than ever because of the number of people injecting subutex that had been spat out after sitting in their mouths for 10 mins @ the pharmacy. Now that Suboxone is around, the abuse has diminished ..a lot.., but it still exists, but less so by injection.

In my country we health care similar to Canada, and I wish people here would rave on about it, but really so many people take it for granted. The government does push for people to get private health cover to take the strain off our public health system with tax breaks etc. I do have private cover myself. But there have still been times I have been treated for injuries in public hospitals and had it covered by tax dollars.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:30 pm 
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I thought one of the main tenets of Obamacare was that insurance companies could no longer deny you for pre-existing conditions. Does anyone know of a website that spells out what patients rights are now? This is definitely a load of shit.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:21 am 
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What I said wasn't entirely true, as I did not have the full facts at the time. Why I was kicked off of coverage is because I didn't send some form in on time, even though I sent it in a week before the date it was due. So, since the form wasn't in on time they took me off coverage and are now saying: "No, we wont cover you due to your preexisting condition." I can appeal the claim, through the insurance company which I did and I'm now waiting for a response back. If I am denied, I can then enroll in a Program which was instituted after Obamacare took effect that permits coverage to people denied healthcare because of a "preexisting condition."

My doctor is a good doctor and pretty much lets me make my choices of what I want prescribed. If I go to him and say "So, I was thinking I should go on this due to this, this and this reasons." and he'll usually agree with me. But, most of those are just minor things. He wrote me a script for generic Subutext once before but that was before the Strips were released.

I don't know why people would abuse subutext more than Suboxone as the only difference is Naloxone which does absolutely nothing. If you were to say inject suboxone before you were in full withdrawal, It would send you into a horrible withdrawal but Bupe already does that on it's on, so the added Naloxone is useless. Also, they said Naloxone was put into the pills to stop people who are on a regular sub regime from abusing them, which if you are on a regular sub regime you could IV, snort, plug, or do whatever you wanted with the pills, the Naloxone would have no effect. Now, they released the strips to cut down on people using it in other methods but the ironic part is from what I've read that they are actually much easier to inject then the Suboxone pills, since the tablets contained abunch of binders, basically like chalk that would clog up your veins. The Strips were just a way to for RB to make more money. It was so cool, new, and innovative plus they came with those 75 dollar rebate cards that you could use twice a month, now you can only use a 45 dollar card once a month and the prices of the strips have raised in some parts of the United States as much as a dollar.

I'm almost positive my doctor will write the script for me, at least I hope so. I've been the perfect patient, I pay all of my doctor visits up front, I've never failed a drug test, I've never called in for early refills, and I don't drag out my appointment like some other patients do. Don't you just hate that? Sitting in the Doctor's Office with thin walls and you hear the appointment next to you and the person just keeps on talking, and talking, and talking, and talking, and barely none of it pertains to anything medically related. Anyways, I see him on the 28th so wish me luck. I just don't know what I will do if he says no, probably have to make a trip to the pawn shop or whore myself out on craigslist.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:44 pm 
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I see what you're saying. It's great that you think your doctor might be happy to prescribe Subutex. It would be a shame if yourself, and people in your situation, found themselves pushed onto methadone because of financial reasons. It's not like buprenorphine costs much to manufacture, and I highly doubt its expense is about covering its "research costs".

Suboxone does make a difference when injecting it. People were prescribed it to take every day for drug addiction, then they'd inject their daily dose. This was fairly common here. I'd still say it was a lesser evil to heroin though, as some people managed to hold decent lives having their daily subutex injection! Then when Suboxone came out, every time they injected it the naloxone would push all the buprenorphine off their receptors because it's a stronger antagonist. Instant sickness until the naloxone wore off over 15-20 mins, then they'd be left with the buprenorphine high. That 15-20 mins was still enough to deter most people from injecting. Most of them went back to heroin (worse outcome). Some crazy people actually like the feeling though! I tried injecting Suboxone once years ago. Never again.

I guess because your doc knows you're doing the right thing, whether or not Subutex is abusable is irrelevant.

As for the whole strips thing, I can't really say much. In my part of the world we haven't seen many strips. Interesting reason why. PBAC is our group - kinda like the FDA - who decide which medications will be covered by our governments PBS (pharmaceutical benefits scheme). Basically any medications that are proven useful are given the green light for coverage. A reliable source told me that RB won't even bother with the strips here because they know it'll be too hard to convince PBAC they have any substantial benefit over the pills. And why would addicts picking themselves out of the gutter pay full price for strips when they can get the pills for $30 a week? Meanwhile the pharmaceutical lobby pressures our Govt to abolish our PBS. Bah! Good luck! Don't get me started.

Mayn I have faith that if you keep doing the right thing, and you keep fighting for what you need, you will sort this out. As you said, your doctor knows you're doing everything right, and you said he's a good guy. Would he really leave you high & dry?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Maybe the pills over there contain more Naloxone since Bupe is a much stronger antagonist then Naloxone is. As for the doctor leaving me high and dry, I just don't know. Big Business runs the Government in America. Whether it's big oil, private prison systems, agricultural giants, and Big Pharmaceuticals. There is a lot of doctors out there who prescribe Bupe who literally know nothing about it, just what RB tells them. My Doctor isn't one of those types, but I've heard him say that he usually only prescribes Subutex in cases for pregnancy, someone with an allergic reaction to Naloxone, or sometimes when they first induce patients they will use Subutext instead of Suboxone. As I said before, he once prescribed me the generic Subutext but that was before the release of the film and RB's smear campaign on all tablet form Bupe. They say the tablet form is unsafe, but yet they still have no problem selling. I mean, if it was that unsafe they would remove it from the market, right?

I have no idea why the price for Bupe is so high out here, I mean when you take a pill of Suboxone or Subutex, 90% of that pill is just useless binders, dyes, and pharmaceutical grade cooking ingredients to hold it together. The film is much smaller is mass for instance, I mean it's basically just gluten so I have no idea where they pull these prices from. Considering that you can get your DOC (drug of choice) at the pharmacy without insurance for pennies on the dollar. It costs some people more to be in recovery then it does to be an addict.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:41 am 
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WOW. Reckitt have started a smear campaign against their own medication?

This is enough to make anyone really cynical. I remember reading over a year ago a post on suboxdoc's blog where he claimed to have heard that RB was preparing to undertake a campaign of undermining their own medication. I'm an incredibly cynical person as it is, but I even had doubts about this. And to find out it's actually going on?

What are Reckitt's arguments as to the pills' hazards?

It's stupid. Addicts can inject ..anything.. I've met some guys who even managed to inject magic mushrooms - I'm not talking about chemical extractions, but actual magic mushrooms. A little dissolvable film would be a walk in the park. Hell, even the relatively safe injectors would find it preferable over pills as you likely wouldn't need wheel filters to filter out all the junk.

You're possibly right about naloxone being useless. When I injected Suboxone, I was also using heroin. However, I hadn't used for a number of days, and was coming out the back-end of withdrawals. When I injected it, I got a foul taste in my mouth and the definite painful stimulant-like feeling of precipitated withdrawal for 15 mins. When the buprenorphine started to work it felt like jumping from an ice-cold frozen lake to a nice jacuzzi. Maybe I still had some heroin sitting on my receptors? God, I don't know. All I know what was once a big market for Subutex on the street - some preferred it over their DOC, is nowhere near the same level as with Suboxone, at least in the areas where heroin is plentiful. There still is a market though, and people definitely still inject it.

In my experiences, the better doctors are smart enough and politically aware enough to see the facts behind the marketing. That line gets a bit blurred though when companies hand out free stuff to docs and send them to expenses-paid conferences. Even the most reasonable of doctors feels somehow "obliged" to return the favour, even if they don't recognise it consciously. It's so ingrained in western culture to feel obliged to return favors, unlike Asia where a gift is genuinely considered a gift.

Medication is expensive as hell down here too, only the gov't / taxpayer covers the majority of $ for low income card holders / students etc, and a fair whack for everyone else too. The only real difference is that it's in our govt's interests for generic brands to come through, as they are heaps cheaper and thus cost the PBS / taxpayers much less to cover. So come the time for generic Suboxone pills, I guarantee pharmacies get tax breaks to dispense these because of the savings to the govt / taxpayer. Pharma companies naturally don't like this.

It's hard to see America in the state it is now, esp your healthcare. The rest of the Western world has for ages, and still does, look to you guys as an example of how it's done. It's said down here that Australia is generally a decade behind of America in terms of business and politics. So I hear your story with a sense of sadness and foreboding.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:51 pm 
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Good News!

I went to the doctor and told him about my plight and he had no problem prescribing me the Subutex, however he sad with me being on the Subutex that if I fail a drug test that he has to kick me out of the practice and can no longer be my doctor....Even I chose to partake in a little reefer. However, I could fail numerous drug tests being under suboxone induction without any real repercussions.....Stupid, I know. Anyways, this is great news for me as this will save me 150 dollars a month at least! That's a big boulder off of my back.

Tearjerker, I forgot to ask where you live? Never mind, I read one of your posts and searched the PBAC and found out that you live in Australia.

Heads up for anyone else who gets prescribed generic Subutex and doesn't have insurance: Make sure you call and price check at all of the pharmacies in your area, the price can differ greatly from one location to another....Even pharmacies right across the street from each other.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:18 am 
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That's good news Mayan. I guess it's worth giving up the pot to save that kind of money! BTW, forgive my ignorance, but what does your screen name mean?


Tearjerker, I so totally agree w/ you about the US healthcare system ( and worse, RB's tactics). That's why I got so tweaked about that news feed article "warning" about government healthcare.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:25 pm 
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I haven't even smoked pot in two years, I just think it's stupid that I could get kicked out of my doctor's office for smoking pot while on Subutex and not on Suboxone since the only difference is Naloxone which as we all know does nothing.

Mayunholdup just means man hold up, however the mayun part is exaggerated. I went to high school in Austin, Texas and in Texas when I was young there was this type of music called chop and screw. It was mostly slowed down, and chopped up versions of popular rap songs, or older songs like by Al Green. Anyways, there was this song called man hold up, and it just stuck ever since.

The only people who are against universal healthcare are people who have no idea what it's like to be without insurance, no idea what it's like to not go to a doctor because you can't afford it, getting charged thousands of dollars for a one hour ER visit, having to choose between paying utilities or medication. It's just sickening to think that the more money you have, the better health care you are privy too in the United States.

62% of filed bankruptcies in the United States are due to high medical expenses. America pays more money per a person on healthcare then ANY OTHER nation in the world. It literally just blows my mind how people could be against universal healthcare.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:21 am 
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I read this book recently called "Deer Hunting with Jesus" by Joe Bageant (?). He talked about the fact that the people who are most against universal health care in the southern states are often those that need it the most. Bizarre.

The rest of the world is nervous about this debt crisis as well. I can't imagine what it must be like for you guys.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:23 am 
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It's ugly, scary, and lots of the blame game going on.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:05 am 
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There is a lot of studies on the working class white christian conservative and how they are different from most other voters. For instance, almost all African Americans vote Democratic, yet their social views with Republican's are nearly identical. However, social issues come secondary to economic issues in most cases. The working class white christian would almost assuredly benefit more economically from voting Democrat versus Republican yet they vote the other way.

Like, right now in America we have this whole Tea Party movement going on, and 40% of the members are over the age of 55 meaning in the next few years they will be living off of medicare and social security, yet they align themselves with The Tea Party who if had total control would eradicate social security and medicare tomorrow. The Political climate in America is so hostile, that Conservatives would rather see Obama, and therefore the nation fail then compromise with the man. Now, what basically has to happen is a complete take over by one party if we EVER want any sort of legislation put through without it being obstructed.....It's seriously and excuse my language FUCKED UP.

I look at the UK and their Parliament and yes, they have fundamental differences but they make compromise to get things done. They also have a right, left, and center party. In America, it's either far left, or far right.....There is no in between and it's just killing us, and in return the world since if we default, the whole world is coming down with us.

I'm not trying to spark some political debate here I'm just trying to give tearj3rker an idea of the current political climate here.

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 Post subject: obamacare
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:33 am 
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mayunholdup wrote:
What I said wasn't entirely true, as I did not have the full facts at the time. Why I was kicked off of coverage is because I didn't send some form in on time, even though I sent it in a week before the date it was due. So, since the form wasn't in on time they took me off coverage and are now saying: "No, we wont cover you due to your preexisting condition." I can appeal the claim, through the insurance company which I did and I'm now waiting for a response back. If I am denied, I can then enroll in a Program which was instituted after Obamacare took effect that permits coverage to people denied healthcare because of a "preexisting condition."


Are you talking about PCIP? If so, why worry? PCIP is currently so low that you'll likely pay less than the folks who are paying private insurance.


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