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Narcotic Pain Meds Issued By Va


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Since I was prescribed "real" pain medication for my s/c conditions, I've had to call in each month for the refill. My prescription was last received on July 26th for a 30 day supply. I was ready to call them on Aug 21st for the refill since it takes several days to get the doctor to send a prescription to pharmacy etc, they always use fedex overnight to send it so that's no problem. I was called by the Nurse who always takes the call for these refills on Aug 21st, before i had called them, she told me the VA had changed policy and my pain meds would be automatically sent out from now on, that i would not need to call in. well, yesterday I was out of meds, so i called the pharmacy to see if the prescription had been put in..of course it had NOT. I then called the same Nurse and she said she didn't understand why the prescription had not been sent to Pharmacy, I called back today and the Pharmacy said they were waiting on the "Hard Copy" of the Refill Prescription from the doctor, which means she said she didn't know when I would get my meds. My VAMC is going downhill in more than one way, I wish we had some elected officials who cared about something other than re-election!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

Don't get me started on this as it vexes me no end. Don't know what to tell you but to start riding their sorry butts earlier. I would also file a complaint on the nurse.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

What I would do is call the nurse back and ask her to call a local pharmacy or give you a written prescription for up to two weeks so that you can maintain dosage while the VA screws around. If I wanted to really raise cain, then I'd call the VMAC patient affairs and administrator, and bitch about it some more. Finally, I'd suggest that the VA should pay for the drugs from the local pharmacy. If they resist, I'd consider filing malpractice. (Unnecessary Pain and Agony) My local VMAC is a 120 mile round trip, so I'd likely go the private doctor local pharmacy route for a short period of time. One of my major complaints is that the VA is not setup to provide drugs to a veteran on short notice, unless the vet can go to the VMAC. An amendment to the veteran's drug benefit law allows the VA to get away with this, and also did not stop "pill splitting" and the resultant double "copay" when it applies.

Since I was prescribed "real" pain medication for my s/c conditions, I've had to call in each month for the refill. My prescription was last received on July 26th for a 30 day supply. I was ready to call them on Aug 21st for the refill since it takes several days to get the doctor to send a prescription to pharmacy etc, they always use fedex overnight to send it so that's no problem. I was called by the Nurse who always takes the call for these refills on Aug 21st, before i had called them, she told me the VA had changed policy and my pain meds would be automatically sent out from now on, that i would not need to call in. well, yesterday I was out of meds, so i called the pharmacy to see if the prescription had been put in..of course it had NOT. I then called the same Nurse and she said she didn't understand why the prescription had not been sent to Pharmacy, I called back today and the Pharmacy said they were waiting on the "Hard Copy" of the Refill Prescription from the doctor, which means she said she didn't know when I would get my meds. My VAMC is going downhill in more than one way, I wish we had some elected officials who cared about something other than re-election!
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I called the Patient Advocate Office, they never returned my call. I called the Director's Office and they transferred me to the Administrative Office of Chief of Pharmacy and I told them my pain meds were already 6 days late and that I was going to go to a local doctor for a refill. They told me I would be in trouble if I did since I signed a "Narcotic Contract" with the VAMC...which I do remember signing, it said the VA would furnish my pain medication and I agreed not to use illegal drugs or receive pain meds from an outside doctors. This is absolutely rediculous, I MUST live up to my signing the contract, but they are under NO obligation to fill prescribed pain meds for my s/c condition. Apparently someone talked to someone, since I just checked MyEHealthVet online and it shows the med was refilled today AFTER I talked to them...now if they just shipped it today. It's hard dealing with the pain, and it's hard dealing with withdrawal, I'm almost ready to give up and just use my private insurance...but that's what they are trying to make me do, force me out for room for the new Iraq vet. They are still billing my private insurance Blue Cross for visits, drugs , lab etc for my s/c conditions....i have told Blue Cross over and over and yet they still pay them, so i gave up on telling them anything!

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I had the same problem several months ago. I got a runaround from patient advocate etc. I finally called my congressman's office and guess what? Within 20 minutes I got a call from the head pharmacist stating the meds were on the way (they were). The director of the Spokane hospital also sent a detailed letter to my congressman stating what the problem was and it was being "fixed". So far so good.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

As long as the drug you buy on the private market is not in your system when you get screened you don't have much to worry about from the VA. What they don't know won't hurt you. I would never tell the VA a damn thing about other doctors and what pain meds I get from them. I think opiates show up as opiates. If you get pain meds from the VA you usually do sign a contract. Their reasoning is that they don't want patients shopping around for pain meds from various doctors or for vets to sell their meds. They bend over backwards to protect their own asses and screw the vet. Of course, the VA is so incompetent that if you depend on them for serious pain meds it is scary because when they screw up you go into withdrawl. It happened to me also when I was an inpatient.

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I did get the meds today via overnight fedex. you can bet i'm calling in for the refill 2 weeks ahead of time, i'm not taking the Nurse's word that the prescription will be put in automatically. In fact, when i talked to the administartive assistant in the chief of pharmacy about this "new" no more calling in for refills, she said she had NOT heard of this. Makes you wonder!!

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I don't care what you do the VA will find a way around it. I only take painkillers and xanax issued by VA so if there is a problem its on them.

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You can do without some meds for a few days, but narcotic pain killer meds carries withdrawal which is NOT pleasant. I really feel the VA is doing this to save money and the Orders come from way above the VAMC!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I GO THREW THIS CRAP EVERY MONTH WITH MY PAIN MEDS. MY HEART MEDS, THEY ALWAYS COME ON TIME, BUT WHATS A LITTLE SUFFERING NO BIG DEAL TO THE VA PAIN WONT KILL ME.

I NOW HAVE A CASE MANAGER FROM MENTAL HEALTH ASSIGNED TO ME, HE IS A SOCIAL WORKER. HIS MAIN FUNCTION IS TO ASSIST ME WITH ANY PROBLEM I HAVE WITH THE ADMINISTRATION IN THE VAMC. HE PERSONALLY HAD TO GET INVOLVED THE LAST TWO MONTHS FOR GETTING ME MY PAIN MEDS ON TIME. HE IS WORKING ON GETTING SOME CORRECTIONS MADE IN MY RECORD.

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