Norpocalypse

It had the makings of a perfect fairy tale story:

There stood princess Norcoella, her yellow gown flowing in the slight breeze of the crackhead party.  Surrounded by her fellow patrons; crackheads, pushers, dealers, she was on top of the world.  Everyone bowed down to her yellow goodness.  The lied, cheated, faked to get the privilege of holding her hand just for a moment.  The twins, Tylenol #3 and #4 sat there, thumbing the big 3 and 4 on their chests in disgust and depression.  They were once the kings of the party, now pushed aside to this yellow bitch that everyone wanted.

Then on 12:01am on 10/6/2014.  Her party came to a close.  DEA agents stormed the royal  yellow palace, seizing Norcoella and throwing her into the big-boy party.  Demerol, Percocet, Morphine, Fenantyl, Dilaudid, Oxycontin.  She stood there shocked as they all mocked her for the lack of her analgesic potential.  Then, the undisputed king of the C2 party, King Oxycodone the IR himself made her bow before him.  Her crackhead reign suddenly came to a close, and soon, she’ll be forgotten.

On 10/6/2014, the DEA made all hydrocodone-containing products C2.  No more refills, no more phone-ins, no more faxes.  Hard copy (or EPCS e-scripts) only please.  A day known as C-Day, Norpocalypse.  A day where millions of crackheads screamed out in withdraws, and were suddenly silenced.

I have mixed feelings about having Norco go C2.  As I lurk on the various pharmacist forums, other than the billion of “Will I have a job/Whats being a pharmacist like” newb questions that get posted every fucking day, I feel the pain of some of my fellow brethren.

Some stores require all C2’s to be locked in a safe (rather than be inter-dispersed in your inventory).  Others require an RPh to count all C2’s.  Tons of new paperwork, filing, computer changes are dictated by this DEA decision.  Ambiguous laws and interpretations of said laws about existing refills of Norco run rampant.  Nobody really knows what to do for fear of the DEA’s wrath.  Its a mess, a huge fucking mess.

On the other hand, some doctors offices are closing up.  Last week everyone who comes in gets #120 Norco-10, today the office refuses to dispense any Norco.  If you’re an MD and feel that Norco is necessary for your patient to live a normal life, what difference does it make if its a C3 or a C2? Oh, probably because you can’t justify the bucket-load of Norco you shovel at them to get them out of your office.

This will cure one problem though, no more arguing about refills for Norco.  Doctors will be forced to move to ePrescribing C2s via EPCS to prevent their offices from being swarmed by people scrambling to get a hard-copy.  Nothing good can come of this.

I do however see a huge problem with Norco going C2.  That means the street value of Norco will increase since it’ll be harder to scam your MD with some ‘lower back pain’ bullshit story to get a handful of them.  Doctors don’t want to be under the gun from the DEA for writing C2’s.  You can guess what happens then.

10/06/2014 – C3 Norco, we shall never forget.  Save an empty stock bottle folks to reflect on a time where Norco paved your angst like a yellow brick road.