Oxycodone shortage stressing patients

Patients in need of a popular painkiller are outraged that they can't get their prescriptions filled. Full Story
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Mark RPh Portland OR

Vancouver, WA

#1 Feb 6, 2009
Corrections:
Oxycontin is actually the extended-release form of oxycodone. The immediate-release oxycodone is unavailable at this time due to manufacturers exceeding their yearly quota set by the DEA.
Brand name Oxycontin is still available, but its generic oxycodone ER is not available because its production was stopped last year by the FDA due to patent infringement on Oxycontin.
I have been tracking news reports from around the country. If you want something to investigate that no one else seems to be looking into, try contacting the DEA and the manufacturers of oxycodone immediate release. Try to find out when this will be over.
The Cure

Boston, MA

#2 Feb 6, 2009
....or just smash a few up, mix it with some blow and snort. Whichever is easier.
RoxStar

Pompano Beach, FL

#3 Feb 6, 2009
Prices on the blackmarket have gone up about 20% in the past month. We used to re-up everyother week with a few hundred+ now, once a month with a couple hundred. Times are just going to get worse. A very bad time to get addicted. Kick the habit while you can people. I wouldn't doubt it if subs were next.
RubySue

Conneaut, OH

#4 Feb 9, 2009
I am an RN at a major hospital and also take Oxy IR 5mg for compression fx of spine.
I think the explainations of the shortage don't add up. Maybe something "bad" got into ingregients from foreign sources and it was not accidental. We wouldn't want to cause a panic would we?
No 5mg IR available anywhere around here. My pharmacist friends are saying it could be a 6 week wait.

Since: Dec 08

Norwalk, CT

#6 Feb 9, 2009
Sounds like there are going to be a lot of unhappy, withdrawing people running around or not. I can't even imagine going to refill my prescriptions and being told they don't have them anywhere. So many, legit, pain patients are going to be very sick as a result of this. This is really a crisis for many and needs to be investigated further to see what the specific details to the shortage really are.
SpikeD

United States

#7 Feb 9, 2009
Oxycodone is in short supply in some Colorado pharmacies because of a quota imposed on the powerful painkiller, which is abused by both the sick and the slick.

Good-faith efforts to keep the pills away from addicts and pushers are also keeping them away from those who desperately need them, say some Colorado pharmacists.

"We have customers who bring in a prescription from a doctor every month ... and now we can't fill them," said Dennis Mantas, owner of Wheat Ridge Pharmacy. "It's a big problem."

Jeannine Hawkins, 68, of Littleton, who needs 150 oxycodone pills a month to deal with the pain of cancer treatments, nerve damage and knee surgery, used to be able to get a 30-day supply at a time.

This week, "the doctors today told her they could give her just a 10-day supply because of the shortage," her husband, Wayne, 69, said.

He's worried that the next time he goes back, there will be no pain pills available for his ailing wife.

The Drug Enforcement Administration limits the amount of oxycodone and Oxycontin (the leading brand name) manufacturers can produce, says Val Kalnins, executive director of the Colorado Pharmacists Society.

Each year, the DEA estimates how much Oxycontin is needed to meet the "legitimate medical, scientific, research and industrial needs of the United States," then sets the quota accordingly.

Oxycodone is an opioid, as is heroine, codeine, fentanyl and morphine, says the DEA. Too much inventory heightens the chance of diverting it to illegal uses.

But Mantas says the DEA must not have taken into account that the population is getting older, and that means more aches and pains and cancer treatments that need to be treated by Oxycontin and other pain medications.

A recall by Mallinckrodt and cutbacks by Ethex have exacerbated the oxycodone shortage, which started about December, say pharmacists.

Oxycontin, also called "Oxy" or "hillbilly heroin," contains the active ingredient oxycodone and first was made in 1996.

By 2001, its use had increased 20-fold.

The DEA says that more than one in 20 seniors in high school use it mostly illegally.

Doctors are prescribing more pain medication, mostly because people legitimately need it, says Mantas.

Certainly, thieves try to steal the supply, and there are some doctor shoppers out there, who may get a 30-day supply three times for the same knee injury, say pharmacists.

"But you know your regular customers, and you know their issues," Mantas said.

"We have customers who go to their doctor once a month, and stay right on time, right on task," he said. "We can't fill them. They try to switch to something else, but sometimes it's not covered by insurance.

"We're not going to fill prescriptions willy-nilly for anyone who walks in from the street. The DEA's intentions are good, but they're hitting the wrong end of it."

If the policy causes a shortage, "It doesn't solve the problem of people with all these pain issues."

He worries that if people in real pain can't get the medications, "they'll end up finding pain medications wherever they can find them" -- overseas or, illegally, on the black market."

"I don't know what the answer is," Mantas said. "But whatever they are doing now is causing more problems."

Wayne Hawkins, Jeannine's husband, said his wife really needs the 150 pills a month, but that "every time you mention oxycodone, everyone thinks you're a drug dealer."

There ought to be a way to make more oxycodone to ease the shortage, and not have any extra supply inevitably be siphoned off into the black market, he said.

He can't stand seeing her in pain, and would rather deal with curing a possible addiction than letting her suffer.

"She needs to take pain medication toward the evening before getting any sleep at all," he said.
my 2 cents

Windsor Locks, CT

#8 Feb 9, 2009
just go to any local street dealer in SPFLD or Holyoke and I am sure they will be able to "hook you up".

Maybe if you even show them your perscription you may get a discount lol

“SCOOBY DOOBY DOO!!”

Since: Feb 09

BEVERLY HILLS

#9 Feb 9, 2009
Liberalism is a Disease wrote:
<quoted text>
Have those pills uncompressed your spine yet? Go to a chiropractor you dope addict.
Ha Ha I have a friend that's a chiropractor..He admits that his practice's do nothing for people with severe injury's!! If you ever had a severe injury to your back and have undergone numerous surgeries i think you may change your tune!! I cant speak for everybody on here but i have tried everything from {6} surgeries, acupuncture chiropractors hell i even had a voo-doo witch doctor sacrifice two midgets and a chicken!! Not everybody who needs medication to help with there injury is a dope addict!! If it wasn't for opiates i would not be able to work let alone walk!!! By the way most people here know what i do for a living and you should pray to god you or your family never need my services!!!
wow 101

Ludlow, MA

#10 Feb 9, 2009
my 2 cents wrote:
just go to any local street dealer in SPFLD or Holyoke and I am sure they will be able to "hook you up".
Maybe if you even show them your perscription you may get a discount lol
And ah yea you would know!(_)(_)hat

Since: Dec 08

Berkley, MI

#11 Feb 9, 2009
RoxStar wrote:
Prices on the blackmarket have gone up about 20% in the past month. We used to re-up everyother week with a few hundred+ now, once a month with a couple hundred. Times are just going to get worse. A very bad time to get addicted. Kick the habit while you can people. I wouldn't doubt it if subs were next.
I was thinking about that the other day regarding suboxone. My insurance company is already wanting my dr. to show why he wants me on certains med's that are less costly as opposed to something that isn't, but that would still be as effective. I was wondering how they are gonna show that suboxone is a necessary medication. I am curious to see what happens there. The ins. co's seem to be just looking at the really costly meds...but that's not new news now is it..lol...stay well to you all!
Peace
J
GetaClue

Chicopee, MA

#12 Feb 9, 2009
Liberalism is a Disease wrote:
<quoted text>
Have those pills uncompressed your spine yet? Go to a chiropractor you dope addict.
A chiropractor can't fix a FRACTURE!

That is what "fx" is short for.

Funny, someone who talks like RUSH LIMBAUGH, caling other people drug addicts.

Pot, meet kettle...
YOU are the REAL disease

United States

#13 Feb 9, 2009
Liberalism is a Disease wrote:
<quoted text>
Have those pills uncompressed your spine yet? Go to a chiropractor you dope addict.
you are obviously an idiot. many people suffer from spinal compression fractures; some are asymptomatic and others, like me, require narcotics for years. how did my back get so bad? i went to a chiropractor after i injured it in a fall and the uneducated clown made my injury MUCH worse. chiropractors are NOT doctors.
Phil

Northampton, MA

#15 Feb 10, 2009
RubySue wrote:
I am an RN at a major hospital and also take Oxy IR 5mg for compression fx of spine.
I think the explainations of the shortage don't add up. Maybe something "bad" got into ingregients from foreign sources and it was not accidental. We wouldn't want to cause a panic would we?
No 5mg IR available anywhere around here. My pharmacist friends are saying it could be a 6 week wait.
Spinal issues: Take a good calcium and magnesium supplement and buy a book on Alkaline diets. I would suggest The Adid-Alkaline Balance Diet by Klimett, published by McGraw Hill.
Phil

Northampton, MA

#16 Feb 10, 2009
Let hospitals grow hemp for the patient's pain and suffering. It's free, grows quick, improves appetite, reduces pain more effectively than lab made narcotics. Problem solved.
CONSERVATIVE

Holyoke, MA

#17 Feb 10, 2009
Just wait till the insurance companys start going belly up because the amount of "well" people paying into the system lose their jobs, and the amount of "sick" people keep growing... What happens when the insurance companies can't pay for thousands of dollars of medications anymore ? Sound far fetched ? Wait and see... It's around the corner. Big Drug companies are allready having cutbacks and layoffs. What happens to the USA then... when the medical care sytem folds...

Since: Jan 09

Barre, MA

#18 Feb 10, 2009
The problem is there are some indivuals that are abusing this drug. I see people who get a 1 month perscription for oxycodin or oxycodine who use up their supply within two weeks all the time. And then their insurance company will not cover the extra refills. Between stricter insurance regulations, the few people who abuse the medication and the tough economy causing some people to sell their medications unfortunately this problem was bound to happen.

Since: Dec 08

Norwalk, CT

#19 Feb 10, 2009
Liberalism is a Disease wrote:
<quoted text>
You numbnuts, if they weren't dope addicts then they wouldn't have this problem. there are plenty of other legit pain relievers to take it's place.
Please, you are such a tool. Every one knows that for severe pain there is nothing that even comes close to the pain relief that narcotic pain meds offer. Go get a clue before you make yourself look any more foolish.
Enough

Windsor, VT

#22 Feb 10, 2009
RubySue wrote:
I am an RN at a major hospital and also take Oxy IR 5mg for compression fx of spine.
I think the explainations of the shortage don't add up. Maybe something "bad" got into ingregients from foreign sources and it was not accidental. We wouldn't want to cause a panic would we?
No 5mg IR available anywhere around here. My pharmacist friends are saying it could be a 6 week wait.
If youre dealing with spinal compression, Have you tried inversion therapy, Where they put you in a device and hang you upside-down??

“RIP America: 1776 -2009”

Since: Nov 08

Naples, FL

#23 Feb 10, 2009
If it's not an official-registered screenname, it's not me.

Whoever you are, you are a load that should have been blasted in a kleenex and flushed.
Phil

Northampton, MA

#24 Feb 10, 2009
Realistic in Mass wrote:
The problem is there are some indivuals that are abusing this drug. I see people who get a 1 month perscription for oxycodin or oxycodine who use up their supply within two weeks all the time. And then their insurance company will not cover the extra refills. Between stricter insurance regulations, the few people who abuse the medication and the tough economy causing some people to sell their medications unfortunately this problem was bound to happen.
And hemp is not physically addictive and does not have negative side effects. It actually promotes good health by increasing appetite for those with serious illnesses such as terminal cancer.

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