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 Post subject: Voiding my refill
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:31 pm 
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After maybe 6 months or more of good behavior my doc started giving me a refill on my script so I wouldn't ever have a problem with being out of meds, only 1 refil per script. I started going to a different Duane Reade that was closer to my work than I had been going to since the beginning a few months ago. I went to pick up my prescription and the Pharmacist said she "doesn't know what kind of doctor you have but there's no refill on this class of drug". I was like ummm I've been getting my refill no problem for months at another Duane Reade, are they breaking the law?

She said she has other patients on suboxone and their refills get voided that this is a narcotic and only 1 month can be prescribed. I said my doctor is an addiction specialist and I think he knows what he is doing. She said she is voiding it but would check just to see if I was right and call me if so.

Her attitude towards me was so out of line I can't even tell you. When I was dropping it off before all this the assistant said so loud in front of a ton of customers "HE NEEDS SUBOXONE ARE WE OUT" and pharmacist was like "UHH HOW MANY DOES HE NEED??" "HE NEEDS THIIIIRRTY"

so embarrassing

Well to make this long story longer, I got a call that night and she said I was right and my refill would be in the computer next month and CLICK.

I wanted to tell her that the people on this are trying to do the right thing and get their lives together or already are leading productive lives and contributing to society and she is unnecessarily making it harder when it already is because she doesn't know something that she absolutely should.

end rant


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:28 pm 
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I don't blame you for ranting! Jeez, I'm sorry but that broad's behavior was just unacceptable. Can you imagine all the people she screwed out of refills over these months? I'm proud of you for standing your ground. Your actions not only helped you, but it helped other people who take sub, too (and probably other medications). I don't know controlled substance classes well at all (I'm sure someone will come along that does), but I do know that things in certain classes - like Adderall - can't be refilled (my husband is on that and has to see his doc every month for a new script). I'm glad you came here to rant - that's what we're here for. And again, good on you for standing up to her.

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Last edited by hatmaker510 on Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:12 pm 
That is f'ing unacceptable. Did you get her name? I would write a detailed letter. She can talk her way out of "being mistaken" about the refill, but there's no way she can get away with shouting Suboxone across the room and breaking the privacy laws. This happened to me when I first got on Sub, and I was so flustered I didn't get the woman's name so I could report her. So rat this one out for the both of us!

These are the same people who give addicts boatloads of pain pills every day of the week and don't bat an eye. But the minute someone gets into recovery they're scum. It's such bullshit.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Schedule II drugs cannot have refills (adderall, oxycodone, morphine, ect...). I think most amphetamines and the stronger opiates. Schedule III can have refills, I don't know how many but I think 2 (I could be and probably am wrong on amount of refills). Here's the tricky part that I learned from my doctor. While Suboxone is a schedule III it has it's own set of standards. From what he said you are technically allowed refills but it is frowned upon by the DEA and it can also be called in to pharmacy. I think the tricky part is while it's schedule III, you are supposed to see you doc monthly for evaluation. Maybe the Dr. on this forum could weigh in on this. The more I read some of your posts the more I love my pharmacist. I feel like giving her a hug and kiss next time I see her. She has always been great from day one. I'd loose it dealing with some of these judgemental pharmacist. Aren't they the ones filling all the oxy scripts to begin with, aren't they in a small way part of the problem? My old pharmacist back in the day would fill oxy's, Valium, and adderall from two different docs with know questions asked. Crazy!


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 Post subject: state laws?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:16 am 
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Hi Glen Bee, and all, I'm sorry you had to deal with that rude pharmacist--what an ass! As for refills on sub, is it possible that the laws vary somewhat state by state? I'm not sure how it works, I mean, the DEA is a federal bureau after all, but, all I know is I'm in California and my doctor gives me refills, up to three refills on a script and does not require me to have monthly appointments or even appointments every 3 months. My doc hasn't even been clear about how often I should have an appointment, my impression is every 6 months or so, but the last appointment I had my doctor just told me to call in zero refills on all my meds, including sub, when I need to and she will authorize them. Also, my doctor has never drug-tested me. I know someone in my area who sees a different sub doc, and she has never been drug-tested either, but she told me that a friend of hers tried to get an appointment with her sub doc and was told that an initial drug test would be required. He had been using sub illicitly and thought that would rule him out of getting a prescription....anyway, then my friend thought her doc was maybe going to start drug-testing her, but he never did. I saw a post on this forum a while ago too from someone announcing that there were new laws requiring drug-tests for all sub patients, but I think that was actually a case of that person's doctor changing their policies, not a new law. Although, maybe their doc's receptionist used the word "law" instead of rule, I don't know.

So...all of this can be confusing. My impression is that at least some of the regulations for sub vary according to state. And also, it seems that individual doctors have some discretion too about their policies and requirements for sub patients. My doctor doesnt' require anything special from me.

Anyway, Glen, I'm glad you eventually got the situation straightened out. An apology form that pharmacist would have been nice, but, well, at least you shouldnt' have any more problems getting your meds now, I hope.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:31 pm 
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Honestly, I wanted to complain and report her but that pharmacy is literally right next to my job and I don't want to have to go somewhere else, I know I would if I did rat her out. She still works there and when I have gone since this incident, she doesn't even look at me, the assistant handles me. One day I went to buy some nicotine gum and she had to ring me up and didn't seem to remember my face. There is another pharmacist on site and I just pray she is there when I go so I don't have to deal with this one LOL. This is in NYC by the way. The Duane Reade pharmacists seem to come and go, a big part of why I switched original pharmacies was the pharmacist changed from the super-helpful guy that was so awesome to me when I started out to a moron who is another long story himself.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:17 pm 
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I just wanted to jump in and hopefully shed a little bit of light and correct a few items. Is it not amazing how clueless some healthcare "professionals" are about Suboxone? I can sort of see it with the case of say an office staff member who tells me that Suboxone cannot be called in - when it most certainly can. With all there is to know, I can't really jump on her for not knowing this – although perhaps I should. But a pharmacist????? C'mon, this is the bread and butter of their knowledge. How can an actual pharmacist not know that ANY schedule III can be refilled for up to six months? Was she perhaps a tech? At least she owned up to her mistake. I’ll give her that.

As for a few other statements:

"From what he said you are technically allowed refills but it is frowned upon by the DEA"

I'm not sure where that is coming from but it most certainly is not true. Specific docs may chose not to do refills on Suboxone but they most certainly are allowed to - again for up to six months. Non-scheduled drugs can be refilled for up to 12 months.

"I think the tricky part is while it's schedule III, you are supposed to see you doc monthly for evaluation."

That also is a false statement. There is no requirement to be seen monthly. There are many Suboxone patients who are only seen every two, three, four or even six months. It depends largely on the doc but also more specifically on the patient. I am currently seen by my doc every three months and there is absolutely no rules, regulations, or practice guides against this.

While Suboxone may have it's own level of stigma attached to it, this drug is a schedule III and no different than any other schedule three other than the fact that it needs special authorization and associated training in order for a doc to prescribe it. That is where the differences come in. However, once the prescription is properly written (or called in) by a doc with authority to prescribe Suboxone, it falls under the exact same rules as any other schedule III medication. By the way, Suboxone had been a schedule V medication (the lowest of the controlled substance act schedules) right up until being allowed for use to treat narcotic addiction. It was then slipped into Schedule III by the DEA. Go figure.

I hope that helps clear up at least a few items. Educating the truly clueless masses about Suboxone (including the pharmacist that caused this post in the first place) is way beyond my abilities.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:23 pm 
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Thanks donh - as usual I very much appreciate you taking the time to clear up any confusion. Thanks for the info.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 pm 
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These were not false "statements" made donh. I clearly said these were things I heard, god knows how long ago, from my doc. I was not trying to spread false info and I asked for someone with more knowledge on the subject to clarify. And by the way, even though the DEA is federal, some states have different guidelines for scheduled medications. Hell, look at Florida.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:14 pm 
Speaking of refills, I'm supposed to get a refill of Sub next week when I'm going to be on vacation. Of course, when I asked the pharm if I could pick it up before I left she got really snotty (because I'm obviously a drug seeking addict). Then I asked if I could pick it up at a different Rite Aid while I was on vacation and she said yes. I went on to ask if they would give me a problem because it's Suboxone. She said, "I don't know, I don't know what the drug laws are in New Hampshire". End of converstion. She wouldn't check into it for me, or call the Rite Aid in NH or anything. I tried to call my doc, but as usual, he is very hard to get ahold of. I'm just so sick of being jerked around because the nature of the medication. If it had been any other prescription I'm sure they would have tried to help me out. Now I'm worried that I'm going to spend my vacation in withdrawals.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:43 am 
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If you want to know for sure, go to the source. Here is a link for the DEA. You can look on from here. If ever in doubt, go to a place that actually has the correct information.

DEA-Diversion-drug schedule updates,etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:37 pm 
Hi Shel, thanks for the link. I wasn't sure how to navigate that sight to find the info. I needed, but I did call my doc. I've been a "good patient", so hopefully he will be willing to help me out.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Lilly - Have you tried calling the NH Rite Aid yourself? I would think that the only problem you might encounter in picking up your refill there would be if they don't regularly stock Suboxone. Maybe if you called the branch where you'd be picking up and spoke to the pharmacist to give them a heads-up they could let you know if there's any strange regulations in place? That way they would also be alerted to the fact that they need to have your medication on hand by next week.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Not to start a back and forth with donh but I had a lengthy conversation today with my doc who has been a chemical dependency doctor for 15 years. He explained that while the DEA and FDA are federal agencies there are state pharmacy boards who set different standards and have different interpretations of the laws. Were I live you absolutely have to see a doctor monthly to be on suboxone, he showed me the memos from the state board. That's why I said before while suboxone is schedule III, it has it's own set of rules set by the state (in my state anyway). Again not to start a "who's right thing" but when I heard on hear of people getting refills I confronted my doc about it. I have to drive 20 miles every month when I could be getting refill, wtf. That's when he explained and showed me the state pharmacy laws and how they differ. Hope this helps anyone with questions regarding refills and dr appointments. Don't do what I did and confront your doctor over something you read on a forum.


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