A few thoughts about how cancer patients are being denied pain meds in Florida
I just finished reading a column by Tampa pharmacist David Craig in our local St. Pete Times.
Titled Cancer patients denied needed pain treatment, the piece is critical of the new push in Florida to make oxycodone unavailable.
Why? It’s a crack-down on “pill mills” or medical clinics “that illegally and unethically distribute pain medications while masquerading as legitimate pain management clinics.”
Last week, CVS pharmacies in Florida have announced that the company will be blacklisting a number of physicians they deem “unethical.”
I use oxycodone daily. Not a lot–just enough to take the edge off my bone pain and peripheral neuropathy (PN).
I haven’t been overly concerned with the push to restrict oxycodone. After all, my script comes from Moffitt Cancer Center.
But the column highlights the difficulty cancer patients are having getting their pain meds. And oxycodone is at the top of the list in the “most difficult to get” category.
The fact I use a local CVS dose make me pause. Mr. Craig quotes a 40 year old cancer patient, Jane, who states: “I don’t want to take oxycodone anymore because every time I go to the pharmacy they done have it, and they treat me like a drug addict.”
Believe it or not, I have shared Jane’s experience. I do know one of the pharmacists quite well. He is aware of my situation and tries to help any way he can. But I was close to being denied a refill recently, too. It is an uncomfortable situation.
I only take three or four 5mg oxycodone tablets a day–one half every two hours or so. It would be very difficult for me to function at anywhere near the level I do now, especially now that my docs want me to cut-back on my Tylenol use.
Since I can’t take ibuprofen or aspirin because I am on blood thinners, my options are few.
So please, please don’t take my oxy away! It is a miracle drug for me. Nothing else works so well–especially on my PN–without adversely affecting my ability to think clearly and make it through my day.
Time to get ready to cover tonight’s IMF Satellite Symposium at the San Diego Convention Center. I will try and post again later this evening.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat