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#128561 - 03/27/08 08:24 PM Medications and Long Term Preparedness
jcurphy Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/27/08
Posts: 48
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Basically the problem is that insurance companies (medicare included) do not allow people to stock pile any significant amount of medication, typically no more than one month at a time. The trouble is, what if disaster strikes your community when you are on your last week or even last day of a medication? There has been quite a bit of discussion on this topic, especially in the aftermath of Katrina, but nothing has been done as far as I am aware.

This could be a matter of life or death to a diabetic patient, or any number of people whose lives depend on daily medications. On a related note, how would one get access to antibiotics or pain medications that are not OTC if they can't see a physician during a disaster? I noticed that DR's very own PSK contains a Z-Pak (antibiotic) and Vicodin (a prescription narcotic pain reliever - brand name for tylenol and codeine). How would you get access to these meds to create a complete PSK short of convincing your physician that you needed them in an event of an emergency?

What has anyone else done? Obviously you hope you never need these items, but as it is you simply cannot purchase antibiotics without a prescription, nuff said...

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#128568 - 03/27/08 09:36 PM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: jcurphy]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
The solution is to break the law. You can ask for - and get - scripts for drugs you don't need at the moment. Go ahead, ask a doctor. Tell them you want to lay in a supply for a storm kit. Unless the drugs are very perishable, they will accommodate you. You can pay for those drugs without your insurance company being involved. Yes, you can.

I have some prescription meds available to me as needed, if needed. They were legally purchased, and legally prescribed, and they have a decent shelf life.

When we had flooding along the river, one of the more dangerous things we had to do was shuttle meds to folks who didn't evacuate and ran out of heart meds.


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#128570 - 03/27/08 10:02 PM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: MartinFocazio]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I don’t know that many doctors will just rite a prescription for you if you tell him you want to stockpile them. Malpractice is a real issue today and the doc may see it as a problem if they are misused, sold or if it just comes out that he’s writing prescriptions a patent doesn’t need right then nor had an aliment to be treated at the time.


If I were a doctor, I wouldn’t do it and risk it.



_________________________



You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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#128571 - 03/27/08 10:18 PM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: BobS]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I doubt that diabetic or high blood pressure medication would be a touchy issue. But it almost certainly would be for narcotic painkillers, where the risk of abuse or criminal activity is well known.

If you didn't have a regular physician, you might need to work up to an emergency stash. For example, if you can show him/her the unused prescription, or the full bottle, after 30 or 60 days, you will hopefully build up a degree of credibility and trust.

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#128584 - 03/28/08 01:13 AM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: dougwalkabout]
CJK Offline
Addict

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 587
Loc: FL, USA
IIRC, when it comes to the 'expected storm is coming' situation, a lot of insurance companies came around and allowed you to refill the medicine before they would normally.....this came about (down here in FL) after Hurricane Charley blew through. so many people were without medications that they caused such an uproar that the companies saw the error of their ways. Dougwalkabout is right....when it comes to 'maintenence' medicines like for high BP or DM....the doc's don't have a problem....anyone on longterm pain Rx (like for cancer) have no problem getting additional from THEIR docs....long time relationship.....the average person asking for 'pain pills' for a kit....I don't see many docs agreeing to that one......

For those of you that may need to Bug Out to a shelter....one thing we learned down here in FL....our special needs shelters (which have LOX for those on home O2), has the health department at them and they figured that it would be a good thing to have a PA at the shelter....the PA is able to write scripts for patients who need or forgot some of their medicines...basically if anyone comes up and says they regularly take XYZ medicine for thier BP in a dose of --mg then the PA writes the script....the health dept even went so far as to make certain that there was a pharmacy OPEN within a few minutes of the shelter so that the person could get it filled. Even if you came from the other coast and said you needed an Rx filled...they'd do it....mind you things almost come to a stop and there is GREAT SCRUTINY of anyone requesting anything that even resemble 'pain meds' of the like. I've seen the PA contact patient's doctors to verify things if patients couldn't remember the dose....but for pain meds.....they would tell you to find a family member who could get you your meds or sorry but we can't fill THAT.

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#128586 - 03/28/08 01:27 AM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: jcurphy]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 870
Loc: wellington, fl
Insulin and syringes are often available without prescription-but the insulin doesn't have much of a shelf life, especially if not refrigerated. (http://members.tripod.com/diabetics_world/InsulinRx.html)

It might be possible to reduce or eliminate the need for some medications by lifestyle changes-weight loss/exercise can modify the need for anti-hypertensive and anti-cholesterol medication.

There are some folks who have had success in using herbal/naturopathic/alternative/complementary therapies to reduce or eliminate the need for prescription pharmaceuticals.
http://nccam.nih.gov/

Or you and your physician may determine that your medications are doing as much harm as good. (http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/02/12/do-statins-dull-the-minds-of-some-patients/

When i was presenting my thesis about home-made IV fluid therapy, one of the more common responses was, approximately, "this is too difficult to attempt, so some people will die". Probably applies here, too.
On the other hand, many prescription medications are issued to treat maladies associated with the un-natural stressors that 21st century civilization inflicts on us. A good solid crisis reconfigures the stressors to a more natural array, and might be healthier than the 'normal' abnormality of modern life. Every er i have worked in has functioed better in a disaster than it has on a routine day. brings out the best in folks, and eliminates a lot of the bull....stuff.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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#128587 - 03/28/08 02:32 AM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: nursemike]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
Originally Posted By: nursemike

When i was presenting my thesis about home-made IV fluid therapy, one of the more common responses was, approximately, "this is too difficult to attempt, so some people will die".


Not to hijack the thread, but the library at the hospital I'm at currently has a reprint of the original Merck Manual (that is, the 1899 version). It's essentially a "how-to" pharmacy manual: ie, codeine, dose 7gr, mixes well with water, not with alcohol.

If you can scare a copy up, it's kind of fun reading.

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#128588 - 03/28/08 02:45 AM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: jcurphy]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Tell your pharmasist you are going on a trip, and ask for a 2 month supply, then refil after 1 month.
Ask your MD for a few sample packs of your needed drugs
_________________________
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

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#128589 - 03/28/08 02:48 AM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: MDinana]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I don't know that I would want to trust 1899 era medical knowledge.

We’ve made a few advances and understand much more then we did over 100-years ago.
_________________________



You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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#128591 - 03/28/08 03:02 AM Re: Medications and Long Term Preparedness [Re: BobS]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
The amount of pills in the PSK is, or should, be limited to just a few pills. Doug listed 6 in his kit. The same for ZithroMax. Not exactly a huge cache of mindbenders.
_________________________
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

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