OTC and Prescription meds in France

Old Aug 16th, 2013, 07:02 AM
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If these are narcotics or class II controlled substances (like oxycodone, etc.), it could not just be an issue of insurance coverage, but federal or state laws as to how much can be prescribed at one time and whether refills are even allowed (meaning a new prescription may need to be written each time).

I don't understand the comment that the doctor has 3 one-month supplies in his possession, so what, that doesn't mean he can legally give them out to one person at one time.

Besides, insurance coverage doesn't dictate what a physician can do, only what they will pay for. I have some prescriptions which are trivial and my insurance won't pay for more than one each 30 days, but I could pay for them myself if I wanted to get more.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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You may be on to it here, Christina - if it is a Class II medication the regulatory restrictions would indeed complicate things.

If that is the issue then christina_p would be best off following Cathinjoetown's recommendation to bring along a copy of the prescription and any other pertinent info (include contact info for the original prescribing provider) and seek out a local prescriber in Paris. Even if the exact medication is not available a therapeutic substitution should be possible.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 03:19 PM
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Thank you everyone for your information. My pharmacist is waiting for my doctor to get back to the office next week to let her know that my Medicare insurance allows her to write a prescription for 90 days which will benefit me greatly if I can take the medications with me. The meds are hydrocodone and Opana ER (Oxymorphone) which are controlled substances that I need to take twice a day due to 3 back surgeries, the last one in 2009. I cannot make it through the day without these medications. However, my last option is to find a doctor in Paris who will write these prescriptions for me on a monthly basis. It's hard for me to believe that after paying for everything (3 months of apartment rent in full plus one month's security deposit), 3 months of homeowner's insurance, my flight expenses and a van after I get to the airport, that this issue of medications can cause me such anxiety. I refuse to let this ruin the joy that I want to feel for this long-awaited and long-saved-for trip of my lifetime.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 11:42 PM
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I don't want to add to your anxiety but I have found several references online that state hydrcodone is illegal in France (to dispense): http://wiki.tripsit.me/wiki/Hydrocodone

While there is probably something similar available in France, I don't think you want to try something new on holiday.

So, best course is to continue to pursue through your doctor now that you have the okay from Medicare.

Good luck.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 03:22 AM
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<<my Medicare insurance allows her to write a prescription for 90 days which will benefit me greatly if I can take the medications >>

Again, if this is NOT a legal issue in your state, your physician CAN write the prescription if you pay for it. Now I know some of these can be very expensive (which is why they are controlled, also, they are worth a lot on the black market), so maybe you can't afford to pay for them on your own, but my point is, your issue appears to be solely you want Medicare to pay for it, not that your physician can't write the prescription.

Hopefully this works out from what you said, although it is confusing. I'm just surprised the physician doesn't even know the Medicare rules and the pharmacist does, but certainly possible.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Christina - actually for the Schedule II medication there is a limit of 30 day supply, part of the diversion prevention strategy. The provider can only write for no more than a 30 day supply on a single prescription, and no refills are allowed. For each new fill of up to 30 day supply there must be a new prescription. The provider can write multiple prescriptions for a total of up to 90 days supply but on each must specify the date when it can be filled.

And btw, classification of controlled substances is not based on cost. If anything, the relationship is in the opposite direction, with the restrictive regulations driving up the street value.
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