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Your Opinion: Pain meds policy punishes responsible people

Your Opinion: Pain meds policy punishes responsible people

June 27th, 2018 by Harold H. Horstmann, Lohman in Opinion

Dear Editor:

I'm writing to give my opinion regarding my concerns on what I think is a back-door method by the CDC to punish responsible people to protect the drug pushers and addicts. Your front page article "Health centers to receive money in opioid epidemic fight" today (6/21/18) prompted me to write this letter.

My wife had on 6/15 a shoulder replacement by an orthopedic surgeon in Columbia. Upon release she was given 40 pain pills. The prescription was to take one or two every four to six hours. I recently had a knee replacement and I challenge anyone who has had replacement surgery to take less than two pills every four hours for at least a week!

By the math, 40 pills would last about three days. When we called to get another prescription we were told that we would have to go to the surgeon's place of business to pick up the prescription as it can no longer be called in nor faxed to the pharmacy. We were also told the new prescription was to be a lower dose. When we became concerned that we would run out over the weekend, we called to get another prescription written, ergo another trip to Columbia needed. They agreed to write the prescription, however we were informed we would have to wait until the last day to have it filled in order for Part D to cover it, ergo another trip to the pharmacy.

The new prescription was for a lower dose and to be taken only every six to eight hours. There was no effort to assess her pain levels or recovery speed to assess what meds she would actually need for reasonable comfort. It seems the prescription requirements for pain meds is carved in stone and cannot be adjusted for the patient's pain tolerance or recovery speed.

From our recent post-surgery experience in pain management it is my opinion that the requirements by the CDC for medical facilities to receive these grants is and will cause havoc by responsible patients and doctors in dealing with pain management after surgery!

The solution? Move close to your doctor's office and pharmacy or make sure you have a caregiver that drives and be ready for the pain!