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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:23 am 
Well, i've been clean with the help of suboxone for 14 months now. I was in my 3rd month with the patient assistance program. Throughout my treatment i'd been getting tongue blisters and ulcers at least 2 at a time. I've probably had them 6 to 8 different times in this 14 month period. After the first couple times of having these problems i started too realize something wasnt right. I was having these ulcers/tongue blisters once every 2 months. So, on starts the investigating trying too figure out what the problem was. I checked the foods i ate. The things i drank. Nothing ever seemed too work. They just kept coming back. So, the only thing and the last thing i could think of was the suboxone. Before i go any further, i would like too say i am not in any way bashing suboxone. Suboxone saved my life. I am simply telling my story so you will understand all the details. So, i started reading the pamplet that comes with the medication. The artificial sweetner in suboxone(Acesulfame K sweetner) i am allergic to. I have been allergic to artificial sweetners my whole entire life. So, come to find out, i had been taking a medicine im allergic to for 14 months. I admit, i should have done more research from the start. However, i was so desperate for relief that i would have done anything too get rid of withdrawal. I also check the ingredients in subutex. It does not contain Acesulfame K sweetner. So, i went too my next doctor appt. and told my doctor my findings. I'll be honest, my doctor was a complete jerk. Number 1, i ask him too look at my chart and he would see the things i told him im allergic to which i made him aware of on the very first appt. Then i brought up pretty much my only option i had and that was, could you switch me to subutex? Well, he said he usually only uses suboxone but bc of my allergy their really wasnt any other choice. So my next question was, will the patient assistance program cover subutex. He says, "Uhh, yea it should. You'll just have too take that up with your pharmacy." I said well, will you write the perscription so that i can get the generic just in case it doesnt cover it. He says, nah i really dont want you taking generic. I said, well do you mind going to check and see if you can find out wether subutex is covered under the patient assistance program. He said yea, so he leaves for a few minutes, comes back and says nope it doesnt cover it. Then he says, well i'll go ahead and write it so that you can get generic. He was very angry. I can only guess it was bc the generic is made by another company.

Now my question is, does anyone know why subutex is not covered under the Patient Assistance Program? Its made by the same company of which suboxone is made. It just doesnt make sense. I thought it was Patient Assistance, not suboxone assistance. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:04 am 
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Good morning, lifesaver,

Gosh, I'm so sorry to hear you're allergic to suboxone! I mean, wow, what are the chances? I certainly does sound like you'll need subutex; and like you I don't understand why the patient assistance program doesn't cover it. Have you tried contacting the manufacturer? I mean, is there contact info strictly for the patient assistance program? Perhaps if you explain the situation they can work something out. Another member was on the program and was given his meds (free) when he went in for his sub appointments. But yours is through the pharmacy? I guess I don't understand the in's and out's of the patient assistance program (but that's beside the point). I do know that brand name Subutex is more expensive that Suboxone, maybe that has something to do with why only Suboxone is covered?

Again, I'm sorry you're going through this. What do you think you'll do? Just know we're here for you. Keep us posted.

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


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:36 pm 
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A couple things-- RB is changing their patient assistance program over the month of July from the old way-- sending bottles to the doctor to dispense, to a new system where patients have a credit card that is scanned at the pharmacy. Patients will still need a script from the doctor, along with the card-- which is supposed to go to patients in the mail.

I have always been frustrated by the policy of RB to provide assistance not just to people who need it, but to the few patients lucky enough to get the limited spots available. I don't know of ANY other company that runs their PAP in that way. I have patients on many different assistance programs, and only ONE, by Reckitt Benckiser, limits the number of patients. This is in spite of the fact that the company is being carried to an entirely new level of profit with Suboxone-- taking a floor-cleaning products company into the earnings world of big pharma... using a thirty-yr-old molecule (buprenorphine) and just tweaking the delivery a bit. Compare that to Pfizer, Merck, etc who spend billions of dollars on pipeline drugs hoping to find new cures, who have unlimited PAP's for their medications.

We all know that the difference between Suboxone and Subutex from a diversion standpoint is largely exaggerated. But RB has been playing up the difference, by my guess in order to try to protect the brand from generic Subutex. Before the RB rep in my area made the unprofessional suggestion that 'maybe I would get some funding for my web sites... IF I sent more people to their worthless 'here to help' program', (since then I don't see the guy!), he would say things about the generic like 'I don't know about prescribing the generic-- aren't you concerned about diversion?' I know that HE knows that the diversion issue is garbage-- that their REAL concern is losing patients from the brand to the generic. But that might be part of the reason for pusing toward the branded Suboxone.

To be fair, there could also be a difference in FDA indication for Subutex vs Suboxone; companies cannot provide medication in a PAP that is being used for a non-indicated condition. For example if Subutex is only indicated for PREGNANT opioid addicts, they would not be able to provide it for non-pregnant people.

I think I'll write a post using the allergy issue, on Suboxone Talk Zone... I won't use any identifying info, of course. If you don't want me to, send me a note by using the comment form on Suboxone Talk Zone. But I haven't written a post about this topic before.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:44 pm 
Wow!! I really appreciate the replies. I was getting my medication from the doctors office but now the PAP has sent out cards in the mail to take to a pharmacy of ur choice too pick up ur medication. So, before i left my appt. i called the number on the back of the card to explain my situation. They bottom line told me that Subutex is not covered. I ask them why, over and over too have the guy repeatedly tell me they only cover suboxone. I eventually just said, ok thank u for your time bye. So, i now take generic subutex. I havent had any problems with the switch. It works just fine to me. As far as writing about the allergy issue, i dont have a problem with it at all. I think it should be brought to someones attention bc its not my fault i've been allergic to artificial sweetners my whole life. I will say, the only down side to this whole thing is i dont get the luxury of the PAP for a year. Overall, if thats what it takes too stay away from drugs than that is my mission. Again i really appreciate the thoughtful replies. It sure did help too be able too come to this forum and clear my thoughts on the matter.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:09 pm 
I just wanted too say that if it takes me a day or a couple days too comment back, its because i have too go and use someone else's WIFI connection so im not able to be online as often as i would like too be.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
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