Opioid pain medication is an emotional topic for everyone. Patients who struggle with chronic noncancer pain and need opioid medications feel they are portrayed as addicts when they ask for refills. Each week I see many patients using opioids for the appropriate reason, who have tried and failed with other medications and yet feel stigmatized by the use of medicine they need.
Exalgo Latest News
Get the latest updates on this drug from the GoodRx medical team
As you may know from experience, or from one of our previous articles on changes in coverage in 2014 or 2015, it’s typical for prescription benefit managers (PBMs) to exclude medications from their national preferred formularies each year. These may be brands that have generics available, or generally expensive medications where your plan feels a cheaper alternative may work just as well.
It’s less likely that existing drugs will be added back to the preferred formulary (or at least removed from the exclusion list), but that happened this year in several cases for Express Scripts and Caremark—two major PBMs. See More
Heroin, Oxycontin or any opioid overdose is easily reversed with naloxone. You’ve seen it in the movies and it’s true, naloxone works to wake people up from the dead, well . . . most of the time. Now people won’t have to wait for paramedics to arrive or to get to the ER, it will be available as a prescription.
The FDA has approved Evzio (naloxone injection) for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose, which as you know manifests as respiratory and/or central nervous system depression. See More
Prescription drug abuse, as you know, is an epidemic in the United States. So, what are we doing about it? One of the new ways pharmaceutical companies are trying to help out is to make opioids with abuse “deterrent” properties. For folks who crush these opioids to snort or dissolve them to inject for quicker onset and a better high, it’s getting harder.
Here are the opioids that are hardest to abuse and why:
1. See More
Express Scripts and Caremark have removed certain medications from their formulary starting in January 2014. These companies handle prescription benefits for more than 200 million Americans, so your prescription coverage will likely be changing in the new year.
We’re reviewing which prescriptions will no longer be covered and the suggested alternatives to give you a better picture of your options. See More
For many Americans with health insurance, more than 50 popular brand-name drugs may no longer be covered starting in January 2014. Express Scripts and Caremark, companies that handles pharmacy benefits for more than 200 million Americans, are removing almost 50 brands from their formularies at the end of 2013. More information is below.
What are Express Scripts and Caremark?
Express Scripts and Caremark are companies that administer prescription drug benefits for many health insurance companies and Tricare. See More
Dilaudid is the short acting hydromorphone most people are familiar with. In August 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a 32 mg strength of Exalgo (hydromorphone) extended-release tablets for use in opioid-tolerant patients with moderate-to-severe chronic pain who require opioids for an extended period of time. See More