Opioids- Trick or Treat?

Hey, big pharma ( I’m talking to you Sackler family) quit colluding with my insurance company.

In a broken medical system, here’s just one small element.

Cigna, my insurance company seems to be happy to keep me stockpiled in opioids, eagerly renewing several post-surgery prescriptions for oxycodone over the past several weeks without blinking an eye.

In a country in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic, handing out these little pills like Halloween candy gives new meaning to trick or treat.

Yet when my current surgeon ordered a very specific, non-opioid, non-narcotic ( re: non-addicting) anti-inflammatory pain reliever for me after my recent surgery it was flatly refused by my insurance company.

A day of discomfort and discussions with the doctor’s office as well as the hospital urging me to take this specific drug led me to speak to the pharmacist who had originally failed to mention the cost of the drug out of pocket which at this point I was more than happy to pay for whatever the cost.

Bracing myself for the possible $1,500 price tag, I did a double take when I was told it was only 15 bucks.

The price of two grande lattes.

This was clearly not an expensive drug, yet insurance would not pay for it.

And it has worked like a charm.

 

3 comments

  1. This is an incredible story. We can’t assume that educated, engaged, cautious patients are totally safe from the opioid trap. Anyone can be at risk and here is an example of the insurer and the pharmacy complicit in steering someone in a dangerous direction when a more effective, more affordable non-addictive med is available. Where’s Mike Wallace when we need him?

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  2. In Canada there were 59 deaths a day from July 2021 to June 2022 due to over prescribing opioids.Governments in most of the ten provinces are spending many millions for centers to help people get off them. However the number continues to rise. In one case several doctors were caught in a small city handing out 100 pills a day per doctor to several people. They then sells them for $20.00 per pill to the public with a kickback to the doctors. Thanks for the sad reminder Sally.

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