Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Medicare will require pharmacies to change the way they fill certain prescription pain medications for people taking the medication for the first time. There will be a limit on the amount the pharmacy can provide. The medications affected are opioids, also called opiates. Examples are hydrocodone and oxycodone.
Pharmacists may only fill a seven-day supply of an opioid prescription for people:
The limit is meant to help promote safer use of opioids and reduce the risk of misuse and dependence.
In most cases, you do not need to do anything. Your doctors and pharmacists should be aware of these changes.
However, you may want to discuss the seven-day supply limit with the doctor writing your prescription. Your pharmacist can also offer information and may be able to tell you if the limit affects you.
Medicare has created an information sheet about why safe use of opioids is so important. It explains other ways Medicare, your doctor, your pharmacist and Peoples Health are working together to help ensure your safety when you take opioid medications. Click the link below to view the sheet.
Contact member services with any other issues or questions.