“Pharmacy crawl” creates “Pharmacy Shoppers”

Painkiller Overdoses Often Involve ‘Pharmacy Shopping’


Wholesalers’ rationing and opiophobic Pharmacists have created the “Pharmacy Crawl” .. which give people who like to do research to use numbers to prove certain facts… Could it be that these researchers seek out numbers that “prove” a pre-conceived conclusion ?

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Nearly half of all deaths resulting from an overdose of narcotic painkillers involved Medicaid recipients who used multiple pharmacies to fill their prescriptions, a new study finds.

“Pharmacy shopping,” or the use of multiple pharmacies at the same time, is a way some patients obtain more medication than they need. Medicaid programs in many states track the number of pharmacies patients visit to prevent such abuse of painkillers, the study authors said.

It’s unclear, however, how many pharmacies must be visited or how much time should lapse between prescriptions to identify patients engaging in pharmacy shopping with the intent to misuse their medication. Some patients, the study authors pointed out, may legitimately use more than one pharmacy if they move, travel or make a change in their insurance coverage.

To investigate this issue, researchers examined the records of more than 90,000 Medicaid recipients aged 18 to 64, who were long-term users of narcotic painkillers, such as Oxycontin (oxycodone) or Vicodin (hydrocodone). These patients had used three or more narcotic prescriptions for 90 days from 2008 to 2010.

Patients using overlapping painkiller prescriptions had a higher rate of overdoses, the study published recently in The Journal of Pain revealed. Patients who used four pharmacies within 90 days, which the study said could be considered an indication of pharmacy shopping, had the highest odds of overdosing.

Study author Zhuo Yang, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues concluded that the use of overlapping prescriptions and multiple pharmacies isn’t medically reasonable or necessary. Programs to restrict reimbursement for controlled prescriptions, such as narcotic painkillers, could designate one pharmacy and one doctor for patients on these medications, they suggested.

7 Responses

  1. Recently, my patients have had incidence of pharmacies refusing to fill. They were assigned a single pharmacy by Medicaid, then went to that pharmacy and were told that pharmacy has a policy refusing to fill prescriptions with my name on them.

    • Is that for any prescription, or just for opioids? And was that pharmacy told to refuse your prescriptions by the State Medical Board, Pharmacy Board, DEA, corporate office, or Medicaid?

  2. THANK YOU for shedding light on this ‘self-fullfilling’ prophecy. I’ve been posting about this crap to newspapers and pain blogs ever since the good old policy hacks @ MedPAC came out w/ their SOLUTIONS to the ‘opiate epidemic’ in MEDICARE. http://www.hematology.org/Advocacy/Policy-News/2014/3300.aspx Yes. It’s not just the poor w/ MEDICAID but also those sneaky disabled patients who use their incurable systemic diseases as an excuse to get high. Its worked for me for years now (eye roll) but I fear the end game coming soon. Medicare rolls (herd) need to be thinned for newly arriving baby boomers. No more free rides for pill junkies. Heroin or nothing (which is what one would get w/ 1 designated pharmacy which is ‘out of stock’ every other week) Notice how the COST is brought up and of course the fact that they are looking after the patients best interest of course. Personally, I’d feel a lot better if the govt didn’t care so much about my well being.
    What a brilliant plan. Raid Soc Security to ‘balance’ the budget when we had a SS surplus, no less than a shell game. Now you know why they called Mr Clinton ‘slick’ Willy.
    BUT like Dulles said when told the Warren Commission report clearly demonstrated that Oswald couldn’t have been a ‘lone gunman’ who killed JFK, “Americans don’t read”. Sad, but true to this day.

  3. Yeah Steve. They want to prove they they’re right and can’t cause as anyone with Medicaid can attest, the pharmacists can see when and where you last filled a script and how many times you filled it early thus creating a surplus of meds, etc. Pointless research that someone lots of $ yet bears very little useful data. Medicaid recipients are aware of these rules and researchers certainly should be by now. Seems like job security and a way to rationalize scrutinizing sick folks.

  4. You can certainly tell the author has no real world experience in trying to fill pain medication. Certainly I have no problem designating one pharmacy for my medication. The problem is they tell me they don’t have it.

  5. What are you supposed to do when your regular pharmacy tells you they’re out of stock? If you don’t get your medication you are going to go into withdrawal and being horrible pain from your underlying illness. Logically, you go to another pharmacy to see if its in stock. When they tell you no, you repeat the process over and over until you find one that finally has it in stock. We are not talking about filling multiple prescriptions at multiple pharmacies. We are talking about trying to fill one legitimate prescription at whichever pharmacy happens to have that medication.

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