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Old 10-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
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Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

I've been trying to get my script filled, at the pharmacy I've gone to for most of the past 15 years, since Friday Oct. 5. I managed to get 36 of 60 tablets yesterday and was supposed to pick up the remaining 24 today, but when I went to get them they said they would not have them until tomorrow. Its a thirty mile trip one way to the pharmacy. I plan to call and talk to both the pharmacy manager and store manager once I've cooled off, right now I'm too angry and would just start yelling. At a minimum I'm already messed up for next month with the insurance since they didn't do the partial fill until I showed up and emphasized that I was already 4 days past my fill date of Oct 4 (prev dat was Sept 4). I'm wondering what I can do if they don't have them tomorrow.

Tigg.

 
Old 10-09-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

Most Pharmacies only get shipments of meds (especially opiates) once a week. So...did this Pharmacy actually tell you there is a shortage? Or are you just thinking this based on them not having them in stock when you showed up?

I am both the MSContin 15mg and the 30mg and haven't had any issues. I always call my Pharmacist the day before I go to make sure they have what I need and I've been going there for 11 years. My Pharmacy is also a decent drive away from my home so this is why I always call first.

I'm not sure why you are so angry with them? It's not like they are doing this on purpose to you....And with going there for so many years...do you know any of the staff to talk to them in a kind and calm manner to ask them about it?

I long ago got to know the Pharmacy manager and talk to him and the staff whenever I go in. They know all about my health issues...and I ask about their families..etc. So then if anything like this ever happens...I can just speak to the manager and he will do everything he can to help.

They have actually helped you out by doing the partial fill as it's actually against the law to do this with opiates. They usually require if they can't fill them within 72 hours then you have to get another prescription for the remainder.

So...I would call tomorrow to see if the shipment arrived...and if it didn't...then you can drive by your Drs. to pick up the remainder prescription and go to a Pharmacy that has it in stock. I'm sure if you let your Dr. know of all of this then they will have no problem doing this one time.

I would also find out what the delivery dates are for these prescriptions so you can know from here on out. Again..I don't think they did anything wrong here or on purpose....it just seems like you hit on a day they were out of stock and not due for their next shipment yet.

Last edited by Ilovemycutedog; 10-09-2012 at 03:54 PM.

 
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

My wife had a problem several months in a row getting 30 mg generic MSC filled. Last week was the first time we didn't have to go to an alternative pharmacy. I can't remeber the name of the manufacturer but the tablets are 3 times as large than anything she has ever taken before. I'm hoping the shortage is over. We were told that the local distributer Mckesson sp? was back ordered over most of the summer.
Good luck, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 10-10-2012 at 08:50 AM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 10-10-2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

First off, I'm really sorry you have to go through all of this in the first place. I couldn't help but notice that you mentioned the pharmacy filled your narcotic Rx with 36 instead of the entire 60 pills. I also noticed Cutedog said they are allowed to do this if they can fill the remaining portion within 72 hours. Now I don't know if this is a state by state law or if it's a federal one but where I live, if they can't fill the whole Rx then you're out of luck. You need a new Rx for the remaining pills. I mean it wouldn't be that hard to do as a pharmacy, you bill the insurance company for all the pills and when the rest come in, just hand them over to the patient. All the paperwork is already done, right?

Like Cutedog said, it really would be a great idea to spend some time chatting with the folks at the pharmacy and work on getting a "contact" who knows who you are and who you can call and get straight answers to your questions. A relationship like that is a valuable asset to a CPP. I'm sorry that I can't answer your question regarding a MSC shortage but have you tried searching the web? I know when there was a shortage of Opana; the web was flooded with info. Good Luck going forward!

 
Old 10-11-2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

The 72 hour rule applies in VA too, However if they aren't able to do it you lose the remaining pills and would need a new script. At my PM docs the contract is very specific and says dont except a partial because they wont rewrite a script for the remaining amount if the pharamcy isn't able to fill the the entire script. Even though I know it's the state law, I have been told by several pharamcist it can't be done that assume your ignorant and will tell a patient it cant be done. They just dont want to do the extra follow up work and accounting of the partially filled script. If you do develop a relationship with a pharancy they are more likely to go the extra mile but the bottom line is what are your PM docs rules regarding partial fills on C-2's. When other pharamcies fail you might want to look into on site hospital pharamcies. Good luck, Dave

 
Old 10-13-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

My local Pharmacist gives me partially filled scripts much of the time, at least every other month... He writes on the cap 'owe you 20' or something similar.... It is a very tiny Mom and Pop place -I love it! I assume it has to do with the order size and my needs and he must keep the ordering pretty tight even though my script hasn't changed in quite a while.... I'm always worried about sticking him with an expensive med that I suddenly stop taking... I used to take an Anti-Biotic called Xifaxan that was very expensive which I abruptly stopped one month.... They have some time window to return unopened containers right? Open containers I assume they are out of luck. Not many Xifaxan users out there -so he probably had to absorb that loss.

Iso

 
Old 10-16-2012, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotope View Post
My local Pharmacist gives me partially filled scripts much of the time, at least every other month... He writes on the cap 'owe you 20' or something similar.... It is a very tiny Mom and Pop place -I love it! I assume it has to do with the order size and my needs and he must keep the ordering pretty tight even though my script hasn't changed in quite a while.... I'm always worried about sticking him with an expensive med that I suddenly stop taking... I used to take an Anti-Biotic called Xifaxan that was very expensive which I abruptly stopped one month.... They have some time window to return unopened containers right? Open containers I assume they are out of luck. Not many Xifaxan users out there -so he probably had to absorb that loss.

Iso
They do this for a narcotic?? There's isn't a pharmacy around (that I've used) that would ever do that, ever! Very interesting.

 
Old 10-16-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

Whoppee-

Yes, my pharmacist does this about every other month, and for any and all meds not just pain meds. I feel very fortunate in many ways as I read some of the experiences of others on the boards here. My PCP is my prescriber of Oxymorphone and Dilaudid, Nortriptyline, Atropine and a few others. I have no Urine tests, no questions, no counts, no problems. If I need increases or changes I send a message and the following month I pick up a script that honors my request. I don't know how or why I earned this trust, maybe they do it this way with everyone? I don't know except that it works for me very well.... I live in a very West Coast casual hipster area, it's just all very easy and non-threatening.

I really do feel bad for those that have a million hoops to jump through just to stay at a 7 on a pain scale. I like the arrangement I have, and I would probably get mighty upset if suddenly there were conditions put on me....

To the original question, yes, small pharmacy, they can't order in too many bottles of expensive meds so they play it pretty tight with their ordering I guess...

Iso

 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

I just looked it up again and it's a Federal law that prohibits partial fills on Schedule 2 medications that cannot be filled within 72 hours. So this means they can give you a certain amount they have on hand, but if they cannot provide the remainder within 72 hours, they have to have the patient submit a new hard copy prescription for the rest.

It doesn't matter for any medications that are Schedule 3 or higher as they can be partially filled at any time.

So to Iso...just realize that your Pharmacist is risking their license by doing this.

And in regards to this issue, as well as urine tests or pill counts...it's not about whether a Dr. or Pharmacist trusts us or not. There are different laws/regulations in different states that now require this.

So I don't want people to feel that if they are given a urine test that their Dr. doesn't trust them. In our state, it was a law enacted two years ago that all patients on who are being treated for chronic pain (over 3 months) on opiate prescriptions need to have a yearly urine test. I've been a patient there for close to 7 years and my Dr. and I are actually friends outside of his practice. So, he actually felt bad that this now has to be done and he actually has an agreement with the lab that does the testing (very expensive as it is GC/MS) to write off the amount so I don't pay a dime as I am without insurance.

But he still has to do this test for all his patients now so it's not about just trusting or not. These are the rules he has to follow as a PM Dr.

 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

Good points, yes. My pharmacist has been in business since 1956. I guess he gets delivery daily, he just says come back tomorrow '...after 2pm'. Sometimes I'm busy and I don't get in there for several days. Sorry about the word 'trust', bad analogy. I don't know what the rules are for Pain Meds, I just know that I don't seem to have many hoops.... The only issue lately was my impending loss of insurance and we discussed what other narcotics may be cheaper and my Dr had a concerned look on his face as he told me my Morphine equivalence was over 200mg/d. Maybe this will become an issue for him? I hope not, I'm not asking for any increases... just across the board replacements. Who knows, maybe this will be a turbulent coming up...?


Iso

 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:36 PM   #11
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

Thanks for sharing a bit more Iso...that makes sense that he is "old school" and is not worried about this particular issue with you being a good client.

And no worries about the word trust as I know you weren't trying to diss any of us..LOL...I just wanted to share that info for people who may be new to PM or reading this thread...

I will follow your progress about your changing meds on your thread about this as I hope it goes ok for you.

 
Old 10-16-2012, 12:49 PM   #12
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Re: Has anyone seen current shortages of MS Contin?

Thank You. Again, not wanting anyone to feel bad. I'm in a lucky bubble I guess that can easily come crashing down..... I think my PCP doesn't have the stresses of an actual PM Doc.... And yes, my Pharmacist looks like he is 107 years old, he refuse to retire! He does have a team of young upstarts helping him, thankfully.

So far Oxymorphone will be out, even generic, just too expensive. Oxycodone is cheap so that may be the choice. I wish that Dilaudid (Hydromorphone) was a bit more long acting because I do pretty well with it..... Shoreline Dave suggested I mention Methadone, I'm just scared to utter that word to my Doc for fear he will refer me to a .... Ding*Ding*Ding - a PM Doc! I want my current PCP to stay comfortable and not feel he is out of his element, so I may just jump to Oxycodone for the ease.... I have enough headaches coming down the chute at me.... This $16k ER bill that just arrived in the mail, wow, that was an expensive 3 days as an inpatient.

I'm sorry if I took over the thread. I hope that the MS-Contin shortage is over and that you are back to feeling better!

Iso

 
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