Nancy Harriman’s Story

When Nancy was 62 years old, she injured her neck while whitewater rafting.

Two surgeries, several screws, one titan plate and 15 years later, she is still dealing with the pain from that accident.

Now as a 77-year-old who is also trying to manage spinal stenosis and arthritis, the best Nancy can hope for most days is that her pain is tolerable. And for awhile she was succeeding at that.

“My doctor had prescribed me a combination of pains pills and a fentanyl patch to help me cope with the pain, and for awhile I was actually able to effectively manage it days.”

Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case. New prior authorization requirements now dictate that Nancy is only allowed half of her original dosage.

“The change has affected my life in such a negative way – I’m unable to keep the house clean, I can’t do any yard work outside and most days I can barely find the will to get up in the morning knowing I’m in for another day full of pain. It’s just so upsetting knowing there’s something out there that can—and was—helping me but now I’m no longer allowed the dosages I need.”

And now instead of seeing her family physician for these prescriptions, Nancy is forced to visit a pain clinic.

“All this change has made me feel like a criminal, which is so upsetting because I’ve never misused any of my prescriptions. My-doctor knows that, but it doesn’t matter. The insurance company is deciding what’s best instead of my doctor and that’s just not the way it should be.”

David Pridniaarchive