Collateral damage of the opioid epidemic.
I took my dad to a routine VA appointment recently. A substitute physician told him that, unless he gave them a urine sample before leaving, they would be unable to refill his prescription for Percocet. Try as he might the 90-year-old was unable to produce before the lab closed at 4:30. Having to take the narcotic for an inoperative spinal condition over the past 10 years, he is likely to have a problem since his assisted-living will be out of tablets after tomorrow. As a retired pharmacist, I was surprised to hear the reason stated by the VA for needing the UA — “required by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy.” Our national opioid crisis is now inflicting my father with “friendly fire” 50 years after discharge. Being informed of the issue just seven days ago during the routine visit, this seems to me a sad way to treat a veteran only wishing to pass his remaining days somewhat pain free. His care has been fairly adequate but this new experience is showing me President Trump’s words about VA reform have not trickled down any faster than dad’s urine.
Ronald Voigt, Eagle
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