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Broken Contract
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Broken Contract

Ok, I have a sensitive question and I'm hoping I won't receive a ton of negative feedback, just helpful suggestions...

My husband has been under the supervision of a pain management doctor for severe lower and upper back pain. He signed a treatment contract saying he wouldn't receive medications from another doctor (I'm not sure how specific the definition of "medications" is... whether it refers to narcotics or other drugs). My husband spoke with his doctor about decreasing his pain meds and he agreed but he then began getting awful withdrawal migraines and his doctor refused to prescribe him Suboxone, which has helped him with withdrawal symptoms in the past. The pain was so awful that he resorted to refilling an old Suboxone prescription from his last doctor (not a PM doctor) not thinking that it would affect his contract since it was for migraines and not the back pain he was seeing the PM for. He then received a letter from his PM stating he had broken the contract and that he could no longer recieve treatment.

My first question is, was he right in thinking that the prescription refill shouldn't affect the contract since it was for his migraines that his PM refused to treat?

My second question is, if he was discharged, how much does this affect things such as taking required drug tests for work and even more important, for eventually finding another PM that will agree to treat him?

I would appreciate any suggestions. My husband is so devastated and feels like his situation is hopeless.
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I'm sorry you and your husband are in this situation.

Unfortunately, it definitely was a breach of his pain contract when he filled the old suboxone script.  It doesn't matter what the meds are prescribed for, when you are under a pain contract, you are not permitted to get any pain meds of any type from a doctor other than your pain management doc.

A couple of things that I would suggest:

a) call his PM doc and tell them the same as you've stated here - that he was unaware that, since his PM doc had refused to treat his migraines, that it was going against his contract to fill that old prescription and ask if they would consider taking him back as a patient.  Offer for him to bring in the suboxone script to them so they can destroy the meds or do whatever they need/want to with them.

b) follow up that phone call - no matter what the outcome is - with a letter to the doctor, again stating that he was not aware he was breaking the contract.  Not that this letter will get them to take him back, but it will have to be put in his records and then it will be there if and when he's able to find another PM doc - it might help him find another PM doc that is willing to treat him.

c) His work drug tests may or may not be affected by this - if they ask him what meds he is on and can provide them with not only a list of them, but also show them the prescription bottles, then there may not be an issue.  However, if he does not say anything to them, and the suboxone shows up in his test - and they don't know he's on it, then there may be an issue.

d) As far as finding another PM doc, it may be difficult for him because of being discharged.  However, if you write that letter to his current doc explaining the situation, it may help.

I wish you both the best of luck.
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