This is not the first time I have written about controlled drugs and the government, and it will probably not be the last.
I will start with a review of some old problems that have not been corrected, and end with the biggest problem of all. It is time the people speak out, if not to their elected representative, to their physician.
Some time ago new regulations went into place regarding the drug ‘Tramadol’ used to control pain – taken once a day, a person could tolerate pain due to osteomyelitis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, knee injury, bone on bone – knee problems, hip problems, lower back problems, and more.
Due to government standards, they have placed the people second – and for no reason. Tramadol is not a drug that should be in the same category as controlled substances.
It should not be a drug that a patient needs to return time and time again to their doctor’s office and sign for month after month – and sign their life away as if they were a drug addict. I am not alone with this belief; many doctors feel the same way.
This compound should not be included in the same category as morphine, codeine, and other highly potent medications.
Due to the new government regulations regarding specific pain-killing drugs, people are doing without because they do not have the ability to pick up their prescription at their physician’s office on a specific day. This particular medication must be picked up at the physician’s office, and the patient must sign for the prescription on the very day that it is due.
Many problems have occurred. If the patient is out of town, they have no way to receive the prescription since it is no longer available from state to state, nor can it be faxed to a pharmacy. You must go to your physician on a specific day – this in itself does not make any sense when it comes to pain control especially when we are talking about a drug without any side effects.
Tramadol works or it doesn’t, it’s plain and simple – it works at the pain center of the brain, it does not affect a person’s behavior – nor does it affect driving or any other physical or emotional part of a person’s makeup, what so ever. Either it will take care of the pain directly or it will not.
I understand many controlled substances need to be regulated but even so what happens to those who cannot report to their physician’s office on the day they run out of their medication? When taking a 24-hour maintenance painkiller, it means that you have to go to the physician’s office on the day that it is due and not one day before.
Narcotics alter your state of mind – tramadol does not. Why would the government classify this drug as an opiate? When a person takes Tramadol HDL extended-release or another form of this drug, it does what it should, removes the pain – it does not change your personality or alter your state of being. Your life goes on as it has; you can drive a car, use machinery, write a book, manage an office, or run the country while on this medicine.
I write this to support the thousands, if not millions of people who are running to their doctor’s office, skipping medication when they are out of town, suffering for reasons beyond their control because the government classified a drug without side effects in the wrong category.
Physicians believe that tramadol works on pain and nothing else. Why must such drastic holds on a drug that is used for all the ailments above – giving relief without harm – unavailable when needed. What the government has done is place added stress on those individuals.
Before such action was taken a group of physicians, and patients should have met and talked about a drug used by so many Americans, who are now doing without because they are unable to retrieve the medicine on time. I am asking that you read this and others read this and tell the President and Congress to change this bill and allow the people who suffer from these ailments the right to a good day.
Medications are used for many different conditions, and patients cannot live a quality life without them, which brings up the issue of price control. Nearly every month your medication is priced differently, and I am not speaking dollars and cents.
One particular drug in New York State costs $100 more than it does in Florida, how can this be? Another drug is $35 one month and $168 the following month. It is obvious we are not talking about five or ten Dollar increases. We are in desperate need of control over the price of pharmaceuticals. Moreover, let us not leave out the regulations regarding insurance and limits regarding maintenance drugs.
Patients do have problems with the so-called generics and need the name brand. The price skyrockets for the name brand. If a member of one’s family is on several name-brand medications, it can easily equal a mortgage payment. We often hear about the cost of gas, groceries, even a simple greeting card but for some reason, people are afraid to speak out when it comes to their healthcare.
Those who are paying high deductibles receive less in some cases – even when it comes to preventable health care. This does not make sense.
An example: Going to your YMCA. Imagine all the literature your healthcare provider mails you concerning programs they are holding to better your health – come to this lecture, or attend this class. But when it comes to a small amount of change for those in a different health care bracket paying higher deductibles, they won’t cover seniors in silver slipper programs. Is it fair that the lower deductibles are receiving the program for free to better their health?
The last thing I would like to mention is the control between pharmaceutical companies regarding generic drugs and brand-name drugs. A brand-name drug, familiar to many, recently cost $864, and the generic drug that is not equal to the brand-name drug cost $35.
During a recent broadcast, I heard brand-name drugs and generic drugs are the same, they are not. Each time another pharmaceutical company produces a generic it is changed and continues to change down the line. Some drugs have at least five generics.
Unfortunately, the generic drug for maintenance I once received, as a patient, worked entirely opposite on me than the brand name, so to remain stable and keep the quality of life they must use the brand name. We must recognize that I am not the only one with stories like this, and it should be known to the public and to political figures who vote on this and other regulations to place their thoughts and regulations in an entirely different direction, for the American people.
I have not named any pharmaceutical company since they compete among themselves. I do feel people must be aware of what they are taking and what else there is on the market. For me, I was told there were four other medications that did not need a signature and were older drugs – been out there for years – there wasn’t someone twisting the doctor’s hand to push a drug – but it was my choice.
This is perhaps the old-fashioned way of doctoring, but better in the long run, especially if the government is going to control how you receive your medication.
I hope more doctors return to doctoring. It is time that we do not let the government become the physician; they were elected to oversee a better government, but they do not have the right to be our doctors.