Why Won't More Pharmacies Carry Buprenorphine?

Buprenorphine is a drug commonly used to help people overcome an addiction to opioids. People often think that addiction is a choice, but that isn’t the case. While some people do use opioids for recreational purposes, many people become addicted because of a painful injury. They take the medication to minimize the pain that they feel and end up becoming addicted to the medication.

Buprenorphine needs to be prescribed by a doctor, but it isn’t a medication that you can get at every pharmacy. There are some pharmacies that choose not to carry the medication at all and some who choose to only carry minimal amounts of it. The following guide walks you through a few reasons why pharmacies choose to carry limited amounts of Buprenorphine or to not at all.

Moral Convictions Can Make Supplying Buprenorphine Difficult

While Buprenorphine can be used for addiction treatment, it can also be dangerous if it isn’t taken correctly. Some people recover from an addiction to opioids just to become addicted to Buprenorphine. Many pharmacists track and notice when someone takes the drug, how often they come to get it and monitor signs that addiction may be occurring. Worrying that one addiction may be being replaced with another addiction can be difficult for pharmacists to handle. Many pharmacies choose not to carry Buprenorphine to avoid having to force their pharmacists into this moral dilemma.

Buprenorphine in the Irresponsible Hands Can Lead to Death

It’s important to know that Buprenorphine not only needs to be taken properly, but it also needs to be stored properly. It’s important for the drug to be kept out of the hands of children and away from pets. If someone reports to a pharmacist that someone is being irresponsible with the drug, something has to be done. The pharmacist may feel obligated to protect the children or pets in the addict's house. Having Buprenorphine readily available in the pharmacy can create a difficult situation if the pharmacists feel the drugs aren’t being handled safely.

Carrying Buprenorphine Can Be Dangerous

Taking the medication needs to be properly monitored and if someone becomes addicted to it, they will do just about anything to get it. This presents risks for the pharmacists because someone addicted to the drug may try to rob the pharmacy as a way to get the drugs that they crave.

If the pharmacist feels that the person may be abusing their medications, they can refuse to fill the prescription. When this happens, it can make the person become irate and there is no way of knowing how they may react. It’s the pharmacist's job to make sure that they do not fill prescriptions that they fear could be dangerous for the person to take. Abusing Buprenorphine can lead to respiratory issues and even death so taking the appropriate measures to protect the people using it is important.

Buprenorphine is worth a lot of money on the street. People who abuse it will pay a lot of money to get it without a prescription. This can lead to drug dealers attempting to steal the drugs from the pharmacy, which can also create a dangerous situation for the pharmacy. Most pharmacies do not have any security on site which means that the pharmacists will be sitting ducks if someone wants to steal drugs from them.

Supply and Demand of the Medication Can be Difficult to Balance

There are many rural pharmacies that aren’t able to get a constant supply of Buprenorphine. The last thing they want to do is be able to provide a supply of the drug to those that need it one day only to not be able to supply it the next. Pharmacies that aren’t able to regularly get the supply of the drug often choose to avoid stocking it at all. This allows the suppliers of Buprenorphine to know which pharmacies will have the medications they need on a constant basis.

Buprenorphine Can be Expensive

Many people who are in addiction recovery don’t have a lot of money. Many people have lost their jobs due to their addiction or haven’t been able to get a job in a long time. This means that the money they have readily available will be minimal. If they don’t qualify for government assistance to get the medication, it means that they will only be able to afford to purchase it sporadically. Buprenorphine needs to be taken on a constant basis in order to be as effective as possible.

Pharmacies located in areas with low average incomes may not carry the drug because they know that most people won’t be able to afford to pay for them regularly. The drug takes up room in their storage and if it isn’t selling, it can be more of an irritation than a help to others. The pharmacists not only have to keep a constant count on how much Buprenorphine they have in stock, know the expiration dates for the drug and keep the medication secure so that it cannot be taken from the pharmacy without anyone knowing. This requires a huge commitment and can take away from the other things that the pharmacist needs to take care of.

Buprenorphine Can Help with Your Recovery

Buprenorphine is crucial to recovery for many people. Having access to the drug is important, but it can be difficult for them to obtain if the supply is limited in their area. There are some pharmacies that refuse to let people know if they have the medication in stock over the phone for safety reasons. They don’t want the general public to know if they do or do not have the drug to minimize the likelihood of a robbery taking place. You may need to go into a few different pharmacies in your area to find out if they carry Buprenorphine. If you know that you are going to take the drug for an extended period of time, let the pharmacist know. They can order it in advance to ensure that it is always available to you when you need it.