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 Post subject: Is This LEGAL?????
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:32 pm 
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I have a question that I am hoping someone will help me answer. The Dr prescribing my Suboxone has not seen or spoken to me in almost two years. Every month I call into his office, ask the receptionist if the dr will call in my refill, they charge me $150 and the prescription is called into my pharmacy. I have no visit or phone consult with him at all and I am just thinking this isn't right. Anyone have any input?

Thank you so much for reading my post!


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Hi HappyHuntress,

Welcome to the forum!!

As far as I know, you are not doing anything illegal. Now, for how your doctor is doling out Suboxone....I don't know if that is illegal or not. I don't think it is. I know I haven't read a story like yours before where the doctor is willing to go so long without seeing his patients, but again, I don't think anything illegal is going on.

Have you been able to build up a supply of extra Suboxone over the last couple of years? While your doctor may not be doing anything illegal, I would certainly question his ethics and how much he cares for his patients. Without trying to be an alarmist, I would be building up a "safety stock" of Suboxone if I were you. Actually, we usually recommend that all people taking Suboxone build up some kind of safety stock because you just never know when something bad could happen.

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 Post subject: Is This LEGAL?????
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Hi Romeo,

Thank you for you post and the information. I am actually 19 days clean of Suboxone so I won't be paying for refills any longer. I just thought if he was doing this with me, he must have many more patients he is potentially mistreating and I was just curious to find out if what he was doing was unethical or illegal.
Thank you again for your reply!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:31 pm 
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Since you're done seeing him and if it were me, I'd write a letter to the state licensing board. I have no idea if they are allowed to charge for such "phone consultations" (I don't even know what else to call them) while writing scripts, but I'd certainly call it unethical. But that's just me. I just can't see any kind of doctor refilling any rx over the phone only for that long without an in-person visit.

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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:33 pm 
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You most certainly are not doing anything illegal yourself. But you are correct, at the very least, this doc is way out of bounds and likely in violation of state and federal laws. This is the type of thing that got Internet pharmacies in trouble, along with the "doctors" that provided the prescriptions. I am pretty sure he should be performing an examination on you once a year. It would be even more interesting to get a copy of your medical records. I'd say it's at least a 50-50 bet that he has documented seeing you and completing an examination on you. This is supposed to happen at least once a year for general prescriptions and most certainly controlled substances. The fact that he has charged you $150 to refill a script would also become very interesting if you have an insurance company paying the bill. If you are on a state or federal program such as Medicare or Medicaid, it again could be a fraud to charge just to refill your script.

I always like to disclose when I'm not absolutely positive on something and that would be the case here. I'll often "go to the mat" on what I post, but this one I'm not 100% positive on the laws. What I am certain of, is what he is doing would not fly with the ethics of most healthcare providers - there are no two ways around that.


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 Post subject: Is This LEGAL?????
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:57 am 
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Hi Donh and hatmaker,

Thank you both for your replies. I intend to take your advice and pursue this with the intention of helping the countless others who have gone through my experience.
Funny thing about the insurance... He stopped taking insurance all together just about two years ago!!!

Back when he did bill my insurance, I was actually seeing him a few times a year. He did bill my insurance for refill requests and no contact directly with him but back then I demanded to see him at least every three months or so and was given five minutes of his time when I went to his office. He never tested me for anything nor recommended I be tested.

I now know that it is recommended to test liver enyxmes every six month when taking Suboxone, but I only recently found this out because I just trusted him and didn't research for myself.

He also misdiagnosed me with an extremely rare mental disorder (which after second and third opinions i do not nor have I ever had) and put me on an extremely high dose of Effexor that I am know struggling to get off of as well. If you don't know about Effexor, coming off has its own moderately painful withdrawals. He never charged me for refill requests for that I have to say, just the Suboxone. Again, thank you so much for your insight and advice, this is such a wonderful site with such caring people!!!!


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 Post subject: completely unethical
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Donh is right. What he is doing is unethical...is it illegal? I really don't know either. But the reason why internet dr got into trouble is the face to face thing. How can he have any idea how you are doing if he doesn't see you in person.

I would get your records, asap. Don't give them warning if possible. It might even be worth contacting a medical malpractice attorney and asking them about it....they could ask for the records, make sure nothing was deleted or shredded. It is illegal to alter any medical document....but if you get them yourself do not let them tell you that you cannot have them. It is every patient's right to have their records. And make sure you say you want ALL your records, including any drug testing, progress reports, and copy of Rx refills done by dr.

Don't allude to the fact you are investigating....THESE kinds of doctors are the ones who need to be reported and serve a consequence for what they are doing.

If you don't go the attorney route, I'd write to the state medical board and the AMA telling your story. Keep it super professional and respectful, keep your emotions out of it, that way they will take you more seriously. Not trying to tell you what to do or that you don't know how to do this...just thinking as I write here....

I am appalled to hear about this. We have a thread about unethical practices and this is the most outrageous thing i've heard in a while. No doubt he's driving around in his HUGE mercedes....and seeing other patients and not following the 100 patient cap. He cannot charge you that amount for just a refill and NOT see you. You are fine, you've done nothing wrong.

Thanks for posting this. I hope you follow through. There needs to be some regulation of these doctors. I've said this a zillion times....addiction medicine is so harshly regulated....towards US. what about towards these terrible physicians?

Geesh...my blood pressure is up writing this! I'm livid. I can't imagine how you must feel.

And, good job and congratulations 19 days off of Sub. How was that for you? What dose did you jump from?

Thanks for taking the time to post this....


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Hi China Girl,

Great advice, thank you soooo much!!!! My uncle is an attorney and he is working on finding one that specializes in malpractice suits, If there is no case, I will definitely do as you said and write to the AMA and State Medical Board to report what has happened. It's been very hard for me to contain myself, that is why this forum has been so helpful. At least I can let someone know even if it's not the Dr. right now. When I first tried coming off of Suboxone, he told me the withdrawal I was feeling was all in my head and that he had never had a patient have a problem stopping the medication and I begged him for some kind of medicine to help my symptoms. All he said was "I could give you something, but I don't think I am going to... Needless to say, after two weeks of torture, I was back on them again. I didn't have anymore time to take from work.
As far as where I jumped off, it was at 6mgs. I am not sure its allowed to say how I did it because I am new to this site. I went to RDD in Michigan for rapid drug detox and cannot express my happiness to them enough. It was just something I felt I needed to do and it was so much easier than my experiences over the years of trying to quit by myself.

Thank you for your passion and insight!!!!
Happy Huntress


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:14 pm 
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he does have a Mercedes too! And just opened a second office recently...


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 10:26 am 
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Interesting.....in some ways, I almost wish my doctor would let me do that. I only see the guy for about 5 minutes every 60 days anyway, but then, I think having to go in there to his office every two months and submit myself to the possibility of a urine screen is a good extra mental safety net for my recovery.

As is very typical around here, I agree with Donh.


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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:32 pm 
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seems that this guy could care less about you but wants your money for sure. My quack was just about the same. HE didnt even take a bp but took three mins to sign the prewritten script. Sure glad I am not funding his life style anymore.

Get a different doc... I would report him too but I can tell you it wont go far. Good ole boy metality with these quacks.


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 Post subject: Is this LEGAL
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:44 pm 
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[quote="birdie"]seems that this guy could care less about you but wants your money for sure. My quack was just about the same. HE didnt even take a bp but took three mins to sign the prewritten script. Sure glad I am not funding his life style anymore.

Get a different doc... I would report him too but I can tell you it wont go far. Good ole boy metality with these quacks


Hi Birdie,

I am no longer funding this drs lifestyle either and cannot express my gratitude to be free of the dr and the little pink pill

36 days and counting... Not that I have any complaints but it will be nice when i am able to sleep again... insomnia has become such an ugly word to me...

Thank you for sharing your post with me!!!
Kristin


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