10/20/2014, Southern Nevada doctors change prescriptions after painkiller reclassification

http://www.reviewjournal.com/life/health/southern-nevada-doctors-change-prescriptions-after-painkiller-reclassification

Dr. Paul Michael, an oncologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, wrote a new prescription this week for one such patient, an elderly woman who was turned down at her pharmacy when she tried to obtain her regular drug containing hydrocodone.

The woman has other pain relievers to control chronic pain associated with her cancer treatment, Michael said, but the hydrocodone pills were effective when she experienced breakthrough pain, a more severe flare-up with a sudden onset that normally lasts from 30 minutes to an hour.

Because the woman faced the prospect of having nothing extra for her breakthrough pain, Michael prescribed methadone.

“This problem is especially severe in the cancer world because our patients need these medications so long term,” Michael said. “Our patients might need these medications for months or years.”

Federal regulators say there is no shortage of actual product. Jeff Ventura of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that any delays in patients receiving their medications can be attributed to logistics behind the rescheduling rules.

The Nevada Board of Pharmacy has received calls from all over the state from people unable to fill their prescriptions, David Wuest, deputy executive secretary of the Nevada Pharmacy Board, said…

The situation is worse than at any time in the nearly 40 years Forman has been practicing medicine in Southern Nevada.

Forman was told one pharmacy chain in Southern Nevada arbitrarily reduced its inventory of hydrocodone products by 30 percent to lessen the risk of being caught up in any regulatory action…

First, what I’m about to say should not be construed as a call for gun control. But I find it ironic that we live in a country where over 31,000 people are killed with misused guns each year while, at the same time, some bureaucrat can make it much more difficult and expensive, if not impossible, to buy needed medications because less than half that number of people die from opiate misuse.

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