OK BOP member doesn’t care if chronic pain gets treated ?

Hydrocodone no longer Oklahoma’s top prescribed drug


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —Hydrocodone is no longer the top drug prescribed to Oklahoma Medicaid patients.

The Oklahoman reports that according to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the painkiller hydrocodone has held the top spot for more than five years but has been replaced by an allergy medication.

Authority officials the drop is due to the changes in state and federal guidelines that reclassified hydrocodone as a more restrictive drug, which makes it more burdensome to prescribe.

Oklahoma law bans prescription drugs containing hydrocodone from being refilled by a pharmacy, which forces patients to visit doctors every time they want prescriptions.

Pharmacist Eric Winegardner, who serves on the state board that analyzes the drugs Medicaid members receive, has been bothered for years by the high rate at which hydrocodone is prescribed.

“I’ve brought it up several times in the meetings,” said Winegardner, a longtime Drug Utilization Review board member. “It’s preposterous for the health care authority to be feeding this problem and for it to be our highest prescribed medication for the class of people we serve, and I’m very happy to see this knocked out of the top spot.

The state has seen the number of overdose deaths from prescription drugs more than double in the past 12 years, according to officials. Deaths due to hydrocodone and oxycodone have more than quadrupled in number.

“I haven’t gotten really excited about it dropping off the No. 1 prescribed medication because it shouldn’t have ever been there to begin with,” Winegardner said. “I’m interested to see how it will do going forward. I’m interested in what it’s going to look like five years from now. Hopefully we can get it out of the top 10 and just have it being used for acute pain, rather than chronic pain.”

In November, cetirizine hydrochloride, also known as Zyrtec, became the most prescribed drug.

2 Responses

  1. I guess I just don’t understand why a pharmacist should decide who deserves to get pain relief, albeit globally. What do they want to prescribe, since obviously they know better? Antidepressants? Screw with brain chemistry, make it us scream “soma, soma”, because nobody suffers when those drugs hit your brain! What are the statistics of people who die on those cocktails of drugs, just to avoid those awful opioids? Bet they don’t keep those kind of stats! Big Pharma makes too much money!!! Too many kickbacks!!

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