Common Cold and Codeine Cough Syrup

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mainer1 Posted: Sun, Sep 16 2012 2:16 PM

I've been an insulin-dependent Type I diabetic since 1980. The two worst things about diabetes are the finger sticks and THE COMMON COLD! The only thing I can take for a cold is aspirin, Afrin (water-based nasal spray), and codeine cough syrup.

Federal law currently allows codeine cough syrup to be sold over-the-counter without a prescription as long as the patient is 18 years old and can sign a logbook. Try finding a pharmacy that follows the law. Virtually all pharmacists use their "professional discretion" to require a prescription for codeine cough syrup. This means you have to pay for an office visit or go to the emergency room over the weekend to get cough syrup. In Maine an emergency room visit costs $800, and even with my insurance I still have to pay a $100 co-payment. This means a $6 bottle of codeine cough syrup can cost me $106 plus the inconvenience of having to cough in the emergency room for a couple of hours waiting to see a doctor for a common cold.

The Federal government already allows any adult, diabetic or not, to buy codeine cough syrup at a pharmacy without a prescription just like any non-diabetic can buy cough syrup without a prescription. Has anyone else experienced delays and extra costs getting codeine cough syrup?

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