Efforts to curb narcotics abuse are backfiring for sickle cell patients who are already undertreated for pain.
When Tanjila Bolden-Myers had hip surgery, she went to her pharmacy for medicine to bring down the swelling. But the pharmacist refused to fill her prescription because Bolden-Myers had picked up Vicodin the week before.
“The Vicodin I have locked in a safe for when I need it,” Bolden-Myers said from her office at a St. Louis high school. “But they don’t know me like that.”
Like many others who live with sickle cell anemia, Bolden-Myers relies on the opioid Vicodin to manage severe pain episodes that are a hallmark of her condition.
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