Medication management is an essential part of your health care. Your health depends on working with your team of physicians to ensure optimal care.
It is the expectation of our practice that each patient take responsibility to assist with managing their prescription refills
We ask our patients to monitor their prescription medication closely, and to assess supplies before each office visit. We request that patients get their medications refilled at the time of their appointments or, when necessary, to call a prescription in to their pharmacy several days in advance of running out of medication.
Our practice utilizes e-prescribe, which is the computer-based electronic generation, transmission and filling of a medical prescription. This process facilitates the process of refills much timelier and with less risk of errors. E-prescribing allows our physicians to electronically transmit a new prescription or renewal authorization to a community or mail-order pharmacy. We will review and respond to all medication refill requests within 1 business day. For your convenience you may request medication refills via the patient portal.
The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has made a regulatory decision to reschedule hydrocodone-combination products (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, Vicodin ES, Acetaminophen/hydrocodone, and other generic version) from Schedule III to a schedule II effective October 6, 2014.
Opioid Medication Refills
Opioid pain medications, also known as narcotics, are a potent class of medications, which are sometimes used to treat pain when other therapeutic options have failed. While this class of medications is often very effective in relieving pain, there can be unintended side effects such as constipation, dizziness, nausea, or even tolerance to the effects or addiction over time.
For this reason, the Board of Medicine has mandated that careful consideration is given when these medications are prescribed and that an open and mutually agreed upon set of expectations should be established between a patient and their treating physician when these medications are used over a longer period of time.
ARA has implemented this policy for our patients who either are, or are anticipated to be, receiving daily opioid (narcotic) therapy for 3 months or longer. The reasons for this policy are twofold: First, to ensure the safety of our patients; second, ARA’s need to stay within established regulatory guidelines regarding the use of this potent class of medications. The policy is extracted from a position paper entitled Opioid Treatment Guidelines: Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Chronic Opioid Therapy in Chronic Non cancer Pain published in the Journal of Pain in 2009.
Our policy will include a patient Consent for treatment with opioids, which outlines in detail the reason and rationale for opioid treatment as well as the risks associated with this. In addition, the policy will include a Contract between our patients and their prescribing physician, which addresses rules regarding such things as prescription refills and appropriate monitoring.
The Journal of Pain article is available for download:
Article: Opioid Treatment Guidelines – Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Chronic Opioid Therapy in Chronic Noncancer Pain
If you have any questions, please ask your physician at your next appointment.