Why did Pain Management Pharmacy close and what can I do?
Wholesale drug suppliers are concerned that they might be fined if a pharmacy is found to be doing something wrong. So their solution is to stop selling pain medication to any pharmacy that sells more than a very small amount of pain medication.
We believe that a better approach is to sent wholesaler representatives into the actual pharmacy to investigate their structures, processes, and outcomes in the real world.
We also believe that wholesalers should not be fined (as has happened many times in the past few years) when the pharmacy has committed a criminal or unethical act.
The only way to change this system of wholesaler fines is to write to your government officials, especially the US Attorney General
Correspondence to the Department, including the Attorney General, may be sent to:
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Department may be contacted by phone at the following:
- Department Comment Line: 202-353-1555
- Department of Justice Main Switchboard: 202-514-2000
and/or the Department of Health and Human Services:
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Toll Free Call Center: 1-877-696-6775
A patient of our wrote this letter:
Dear Elected Official,
The United States has a serious problem with Opioid overuse and there needs to be reform. The CDC and DEA have made a mess trying to clean up the problem. Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists are accountable for the safe prescribing practices and are held by abandonment rules. The distribution of the medication we have become dependent upon can not be abruptly discontinued without serious health side effects and costs to our already overburdened health system.
In California, the State Health and Safety code, section 124961; known as the Pain Patients Bill of Rights; provides that a patient suffering from severe chronic intractable pain has the option to request or reject to use any or all modalities in order to relieve his or her severe chronic it intractable pain, and also has the option to choose opioid medications to relieve severe chronic and intractable pain without first having to submit to an invasive medical procedure which is defined as surgery, destruction of the nerve or other body tissue by manipulation or the implantation of a drug delivery system or device, as long as the prescribing physician is in conformance with the provisions of the California Intractable Pain Treatment Act, Section 2241.5 of the Business and Professions code. It also states a physician who uses opioid therapy to relieve severe chronic intractable pain may prescribe a dosage deemed medically necessary to relieve severe chronic intractable pain as long as they're prescribing treatment is conformance with the section listed above.
Currently, wholesalers of these medications are not held under the same law. As a pain management patient, our access to care is being violated. We are being forced to break our contracts with our treating physicians. Pain Management Pharmacy in Santa Maria California is being forced to go out of business because they cannot get the medication from their suppliers that their patients need. The federal government needs to stop fining wholesalers for their customers actions and protect the legal pharmacists! We deserve this basic respect as US citizens.
Having a pain management doctor and a contract with him or her, that states we will only use one pharmacy, is being broken by this regulation. Pain Management patients who are trusting their pharmacist to keep our health and dignity is being jeopardized by this ridiculous regulation. It will cause more people to turn to street drugs, supply and demand will force the price of the all medications higher, and more people will die of opioid overdoses than we are currently experiencing.
We beg you, as our elected official, to speak with our voice - and stop the DEA from sanctioning drug wholesalers for the actions of their customers. The chilling effect from these sanctions may be the desired outcome; but, the wrong results... causing harm to patients while not appreciably reducing diversion. Good pharmacists, and great pharmacists, like Scott Guess at Pain Management Pharmacy in Santa Maria, Ca are treating the pain patient community with the dignity, compassion, and respect we deserve. They need to be allowed to continue to serve our needs rather than have the supply chain cut off by wholesalers who fear being fined for the actions of a few bad apples. I can not think of any other class of wholesaler who is held accountable for the actions of their customers.
Chronic Pain Patient