I wrote a post a few days back about opiod contracts. Since then 2 things have come to my attention. Otherwise I would let the subject go (at least for a while.)
There is a new drug Abstral. It is a pain medication, an opiod. The prescribing information states it is fentynel based, a Schedule II opiod, the highest level. The instruictions state it has "as an abuse liability similar to other opioid analgesics. ABSTRAL can be abused in a manner similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit. Schedule II opioid substances which include morphine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and methadone have the highest potential for abuse and risk of fatal overdose due to respiratory depression."
What makes it different from the other opiates? This one comes with a contract from the pharmacy, mandated by the government. In fact if you refuse to sign the release of information portion of the contract you will not be able to get the medication.
This is part of the FDA REMS (risk and management program). What makes it of concern to me is that now the consultation room has the government and the pharmacy in there along with you and the doctor. Since when was that room open to any and all comers at the behest of the government?
"Some people abuse pain meds, so you shouldn't have them." I was reminded of this mantra by one of our commenters here. (Please see her comment in the last blog. I am not my disease
I have seen this said in many posts and articles throughout the last few years. Sometimes it is said indirectly. Other times it is written outright: narcotics are bad for you, people abuse and misuse them, therefore they should be banned.
Invariably this is written by those who do not (thankfully) know chronic pain firsthand (or most probably even very severe acute pain.).
Insulin and steroids have been abused by athletes. Does this mean they should be banned altogether? Ask a patient with lupus, arthritis, asthma, MS, if steroids should no longer be available. Their answer would be the same as ours.
"I need the medication to help me cope with and live with my illness."
Guess what. So do we.