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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:38 am 
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Hi there, folks! Long time no talk! Anyways, I'm going to get straight into my problem.

My patience assistance program is up in a month or two, and there is no renewing on the program which totally sucks the big one. So, the only way I will be able to stay on Bupe is to be switched over to generic Subutex. The problem is, ever since the release of the strips I feel that there is a unwillingness to prescribe Suboxone in the pill form, let ALONE Subutex. My doctor in the past prescribed me the generic subutex once because of a mix up in my patience assistance paper work, but that was before the strips. Since then, I have asked him on his views on Naloxone and he basically said that the only people who should be prescribed Subutex or people in rehab facilities or pregnant women. Now, my doctor is generally pretty flexible but ever since the strips have come out I feel like they've been jammed down my throat. I was switched over from t he pills to the strips without asking, and he's been touting the whole 75$ off coupon for the strips. I don't know how much the strips cost without insurance, anyone know? They have to be pretty expensive I'm guessing.

Anyways, has anyway else gotten resistance from their doctor from needing or wanting to switch to Subutex for the price?

I find it disheartening that you can get pain killers for dirt cheap, yet when you are trying to get clean you are charged an arm and a leg.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:26 am 
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Hey mayun - it's good to "see" you again. You've been missed around here. What you're describing isn't unusual. Many doctors don't want to prescribe generic subutex. Reckitt-Benckiser has convinced doctors that the generic without the naloxone presents a HUGE risk of diversion, thus keeping their customers on their product. As for the films, it's pretty much the same thing. RB is pushing the strips and again saying they have a lower risk of diversion. We've discussed this alot around here and one of the main theories is that with the introduction of the strips, RB has a new product with a new patent.

I was told that the strips should be the same price as the tablets, but I don't know how true that is. Personally I didn't like the strips and my doctor let me return to the tablets.

I really hope your doctor will support you in getting the cheaper generic. You deserve continued treatment. Let us know how it turns out. Again - it's good to see you posting again. Take care.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:05 am 
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I had a similar experience.....being told that prescribing subutex was "only for induction or pregnancy". I quit asking, then when I ran out of options and was faced with having to stop, my doc offered it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:43 pm 
Mayunholdup, the strips cost the same as the pills where Im at 8$ a piece. I hear ya about the docs unwillingness to Rx the generic, I had a whole list of reasons ready to list off to the doc on how much it would help me so I could afford to be on the dose Im supposed to be and not have to take an insufficient dose everyday and get constant cravings. He just dismissed Rx'ing it instantly and went and got me that 75$ coupon card for the strips like that was gonna be the magic fix to make it affordable, i had to remind him that he already gave me that coupon last appointment and I called around and with the coupon it still would make it unaffordable for me to get 8mgs daily. He said to "try anyway and report back" and acted all concerned like he cared that I was suffering and that " i need to be on more suboxone" and Im sitting there thinking well I gave him the answer to how I could be able to afford it and he instantly denied me so how much could he realy care ya know? Were you on the program for a full year, just wondering because I will be on the assistance program in the next couple of months I think so I just wanted to know if they allow it for the full year cuz I heard you have to re apply every 3 months. Hope everything works out ok for you.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm 
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It depends on the Dr. and the circumstances. So far it's worked out for me, I guess because I switched to Subutex in the first place because I was getting severe headaches and sometimes nausea from the Naloxone.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:00 pm 
SuboxOWNED:

I was on the patient assistance program for about 3 months before i had to switch to subutex and their was no re-applying that had to be done. I was gonna be on it for the whole year, no re-applying no nothing, just a straight year of free meds but as i've told everybody, i found out about the artificial sweetner in suboxone which im allergic to and had to switch. It sounds like you have a doctor about like mine. Acts like he cares but doesnt. Especially how quick you say he turned you down without even hearing you out. He seems to be getting the same benefit from prescribing RB's product as my doctor does, and i have no clue what it is but it damn sure is something. That, or you doctor is truly fooled by RB with them saying that generic subutex is so abusable blah blah blah. Hopefully the patient assistance program will kick in for you soon so you can take an adequate dose. As i said, i was on the program for exactly 3 months an was never told anything about ever having to re-apply. I was told in the beginning that i got free meds for a year, bottom line.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:44 am 
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I'm in the same boat no insurane and my doc jams those strips down my throat I hate them they give me nasty headaches and nasea sometime even vomiting from the dizzines of the migraines. I'm about to ask my doc again after 6 months of successful treatmentthey do work as far as cravings,but my head hurts so bad. I'm hoping he will help this time I have to stick it out for one more month until I can ask again I hope he will help me. Even with the coupn I would save over 100$ a month, and 155$ without the coupon wich expires next month. My fingers are crossed because I have a family to support and I can't pay 230$ a month for strips that make me sick half the time. It sucks


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:17 am 
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Why would you continue to take the Suboxone if it is doing that to? Also, why would a doctor continue to prescribe this medication to you if it causes such terrible side effects? I just couldn't imagine a doctor having not having any sympathy for a patient who gets very ill every time they take their medication unless the dude was an absolute dick. The only thing different about Suboxone is the Naloxone in it which if you take your medication sublingually there is virtually no absorption of it into your bloodstream and you'd think after this much time on the medication you would build a tolerance to it. I'm trying to doubt your story I'm just trying to figure out what is the reason for this reaction. Are you sure that maybe you just had an adverse reaction taking it one time and now that's all you think about when taking it and now you're having a placebo effect?

Also, if the doctor wont switch you to the Subutext then realize you have other options out there, I don't know where you live but I'm sure there is no shortage of Sub doctors wherever you are.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:43 pm 
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Let me give you more info, thanks for your response. I moved to Tucson about 4 plus months ago from New England were my doctor gave me the generics after loosing insurance. I was on generics for about a year and when I moved here that was all the new doc was comfortable giving me, that's why I'm hoping he will trust me after almost 6 months with him. At first I thought the climate change was messing with me but after hearing so many others with these symptoms I think its the naloxone in the strips for sure. Also there are plenty of docs around but its 200$ plus to change docs and there's no gaurantee that I will be able to get generic from a new doc, I would make my money back in 2 months but moneys tight I have a family and its a huge gamble for me to dish out all that money and get stuck with the same kind of) controled doctor. The strips still kill my cravings and that's why I feel they're better then going back to my old lifestyle. The generic would save me money and make me feel better, if he says no again I don't know what ill do, I don't want stop and risk relapse, my family is to important

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:53 am 
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You'd think these particular doctors, with all their decades of study, would be smart enough to see through the patent extending..

Oh well. I've given up getting angry about this stuff.

Maybe just be assertive Mayun, express your concerns plainly about your insurance / financial position, and try to come up with a compromise at least. Suboxone's patent should have expired in 2009. Why aren't there any generic suboxone products out there?

Wow. Just discovered Suboxone 2010 Sales: $1,164,872,000

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Finally on the Subutex issue, there is no doubt that the difference between Suboxone and Subutex in reagard to diversion has been overblown. Most diverted buprenorphine from either formulation is taken sublingually to stave off withdrawal, not intravenously for a ‘high.’ I have wondered aloud if Reckitt-Benckiser perpetuates the misperception purposefully in order to reduce abandonment of brand Suboxone. Thankfully we now have generic Suboxone from Teva Pharmaceuticals, and hopefully prices for both formulations will fall. I recently heard about a pharmacy in Appleton, WI that had generic buprenorphine 8 mg tablets for about $2.80 per tablet retail, which is the lowest price I’ve seen for a couple years. For any physicians reading this, I encourage you to cut your patients some slack if they have no insurance and consider prescribing generics; I prescribe the generic in such cases and have had no complaints of lower efficacy or other problems. In Wisconsin most pharmacies do not stock the generic, but they can order it if given a day or two notice. Although we do NOT yet have the Teva generic available, at least as far as I have heard.


From Suboxdoc


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:35 am 
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I think the release of the strips had something to do with prolonging RB's exclusive patent on the medication. I don't know if the patent just covers the pill version of Suboxone or if it covers any delivery system which has both Bupe and Naloxone in it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:39 am 
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Agreed! The patent on the tablets expired over a year ago and as of yet no one has released a suboxone generic, but someone could at anytime. It's theorized that RB released the strips so they'd have a brand new patent, so even if a new sub tablet generic came out, by then Loads of people would be on the strips and they'd keep all those customers. Hope that made sense.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:20 am 
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If a generic version of Suboxone came out...Even in tablet form I'd jump on that train in a blink of an eye. While BR does some good things like the rebate cards, and the patient assistance program it doesn't make up for how much they charge for their medication. If you don't have good insurance it's cheaper to become a full blown addict again then be on long-term Sub maintenance.

I'd much rather just be on Subutex but it seems BR has successfully gotten doctors to stop prescribing it and gotten Insurance Companies to barely cover any of it or not at all. The whole myth about Naloxone being in Suboxone as a deterant to stop people from IVing it has been dispelled a long, long time ago. There really is no purpose for the Naloxone other than patent purposes. I wish there was a film version of Subutex. I don't know if it's the placebo effect or what but I just find Subutex (brand name or generic) to deliver a much cleaner feeling with a lot less sweating.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 6:42 pm 
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I am so glad I found this forum. Let me start by saying that I have been on Suboxone for 10 months now and it has honestly turned my life around for the better! I had some problems in the beginning, relapsed a couple of times, but am doing really well now. Just when things are looking better than they have in years, I go to the pharmacy today to pick up my subs(which are $35 copay with my ins.) they tell me my insurance can only pay $2000 per year on brand name drugs and I've reached a cap?? Which means they stopped paying. I was completley unaware of this and almost fell on the floor in tears. I can't afford the subs, I take 2-8 mg a day. I will have to pay almost $300 every 3 weeks if I continue, which to me there is no other option. I've been reading posts about this all day and it looks like the only thing I can do is ask my doc. if she can put me on Subutex. OH!!! I forgot. The PHARMACIST told me that there was currently no generic for Suboxone, but there will be in 3-4 months?? That's what he said I swear to it. I didn't ask any details but I'm not sure how true that is. My insurance WILL pay for generics. I'm just SO upset and I'm not sure if my doc. will switch me as it looks like all of the doctors are brainwashed by the drug reps. With my luck mine will be no different. Any advice or info. would be appreciated!!! Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:21 pm 
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Regular Subutex will run you the same or more than the Suboxone but the generic version of Subutex is much, much cheaper by almost 200 dollars.

I am also on 16MG of subs which means i have to purchase 60 a month and I was just kicked off of insurance because they consider my "opiate addiction" to be a preexisting condition. Needless to say, I will not be able to afford 400 plus dollars a month so I am hoping that my doctor will switch me to Subutex. I've been with this Sub doctor for a year and a half and have never needed an early refill, have always paid my appointments and have never failed a drug test so I hope I've built up enough trust to do so. If your doctor wont then go to suboxone.com and look for sub doctors in your area and there should be a ton and I'm sure one of them will be sympathetic to your situation and prescribe your Subutex. Be sure you get the 45 dollar rebate card for the Suboxone Strips and try printing out various free prescription drug cards that you can print and work immediately...Some of those can really save you some cash.

If I can't get put on generic Subutex I'm almost contemplating switching to Methadone. Some doctors now will prescribe Methadone which you can take home and don't have to take at a clinic which is DIRT cheap. You can get 60 40MG Methadone pills for around 20 dollars a month. The only problem with Methadone is that there is no ceiling effect and you are constantly changing your dose and most of the time that dose is upwards which makes getting off of Methadone the toughest thing you will EVER do.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:09 am 
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Reply to [b]mayunholdup:

First, I want to thank you for responding :) It makes me feel alot better knowing that I'm not the ONLY one going through this. And second, that "preexisting condition" crap doesn't surprise me. I better stop now cause I have NOTHING nice to say about insurance companies. I pay almost $250 a month for mine and they can't even pay for the ONLY medicine that I've ever had to be on....at all. Although they did say they COULD pay for generics. That's why I'm hoping my doc. will consider switching me....at least until suboxone comes out with a generic( if they ever will) or until January 2012. If she does, then I will request the generic form of Subutex and my ins. will pay for that....I'll just have to pay a copay. For now, I will have to ( with my boyfriends help) go to the pharmacy and just get a few at a time. Whatever I can afford.

Like you, I have a pretty good track record with my doc. I go to group once a week, pass my drug tests, never missed an appt., pay every single time what I'm supposed to pay. She always tells me " You are too easy" LOL. So, I figure that the LEAST she could do is help me out until January. I take the film so at least I have the coupon which takes off $45. I can only use it every 30 days, but I get my refills every 3 weeks so I can only use it every other time.

I know you already know this, but PLEASE be careful with methadone. I have just heard way too many horror stories about it. I mean, if you don't have another choice ya gotta do what ya have to. Most of the people that are in my group are there to get off the methadone they were on before. Whatever you do, I hope everything works out for the best. I know what you're feeling and it's a daily struggle to try to go on with life in a normal way. I just wanna continue my treatment without having to worry about if I can afford it or not. These people who have medicaid are so lucky......I would give anything to have it!!

One more thing. I read you're earlier posts and was wondering what the "patient assistance programs" are?? Also, I read someone else say that sometimes you can call the pharmaceutical companies and they will sometimes give you a few months supply for free?? Something like that. Again, thanks for the reply and I hope I haven't gone on too much :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:18 pm 
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LMNLover wrote:
Reply to [b]mayunholdup:

First, I want to thank you for responding :) It makes me feel alot better knowing that I'm not the ONLY one going through this. And second, that "preexisting condition" crap doesn't surprise me. I better stop now cause I have NOTHING nice to say about insurance companies. I pay almost $250 a month for mine and they can't even pay for the ONLY medicine that I've ever had to be on....at all. Although they did say they COULD pay for generics. That's why I'm hoping my doc. will consider switching me....at least until suboxone comes out with a generic( if they ever will) or until January 2012. If she does, then I will request the generic form of Subutex and my ins. will pay for that....I'll just have to pay a copay. For now, I will have to ( with my boyfriends help) go to the pharmacy and just get a few at a time. Whatever I can afford.

Like you, I have a pretty good track record with my doc. I go to group once a week, pass my drug tests, never missed an appt., pay every single time what I'm supposed to pay. She always tells me " You are too easy" LOL. So, I figure that the LEAST she could do is help me out until January. I take the film so at least I have the coupon which takes off $45. I can only use it every 30 days, but I get my refills every 3 weeks so I can only use it every other time.

I know you already know this, but PLEASE be careful with methadone. I have just heard way too many horror stories about it. I mean, if you don't have another choice ya gotta do what ya have to. Most of the people that are in my group are there to get off the methadone they were on before. Whatever you do, I hope everything works out for the best. I know what you're feeling and it's a daily struggle to try to go on with life in a normal way. I just wanna continue my treatment without having to worry about if I can afford it or not. These people who have medicaid are so lucky......I would give anything to have it!!

One more thing. I read you're earlier posts and was wondering what the "patient assistance programs" are?? Also, I read someone else say that sometimes you can call the pharmaceutical companies and they will sometimes give you a few months supply for free?? Something like that. Again, thanks for the reply and I hope I haven't gone on too much :lol:


Yes, there is a patience assistance program through the company that manufactures Suboxone which is reckitt benckiser. You will have to apply though your doctor's office and they will also have to apply to the program. There are a few specifications you have to reach in order to apply. Basically, you have to be dirt poor and not have insurance. Here is a link that will give you all of the qualifications you have to meet. If you qualify, your meds will be completely free for a year. When the program first started you actually got your meds at your doctor's office which was so nice because I don't know about everywhere else but it always seems like pharmacies are out of Suboxone here or can only give me two of them to hold me over...It's SO annoying. Anyways, now they send you a card which you present to the pharmacy and it will pay for the strips or tablets in full.

http://www.patientassistance.com/profil ... kiser-314/

Good luck, I hope you can qualify.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:06 pm 
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It looks like I probably won't qualify since I have insurance. I guess I could still try. Thanks for the info :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Well, didn't you say that you basically only use the insurance for the Suboxone? It might be cheaper to temporarily drop your insurance and try to get on the patient assistance program if your doctor wont write write you a prescription for the generic Subutext.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:12 pm 
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Some copay health insurance plans only cover generic drugs, while others cover all prescriptions. I wish more doctors would offer the generic version no matter the type of insurance. It seems like sometimes doctors will give you a generic only if you ask. Of course, it would be much easier to prescribe generics if more generic drugs were available.


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