What about pill and film counts?
Pill and film count are an attempt to address the diversion potential for program members selling their prescriptions. Seaport has the advantage of an on site pharmacy, and we strongly encourage our program members to fill their Suboxone prescriptions at our pharmacy. Pill and film counts are done per our Count Protocol.
Program members are told that they must have a working cell phone with the capacity to leave a message available at all times. We inform them that pill/film count calls happen between 7:00-8:00 AM, with most often a medical assistant leaving the message that a pill count has been ordered. Program members have until the 5:00 pm (sometimes later depending on pharmacy hours) that same day, to present their prescription to the Seaport Pharmacist. We sometimes also ask the program member to provide a urine screen at the time they arrive for a pill count.
We acknowledge that pill/film counts happening as outlined have been a source of frustration as most patients fail, possibly because of widespread diversion but more likely because of impoverished and chaotic lifestyles. Problems with non working cell phones, voice mail boxes being full or not set up and messages not being being listened to are common. Nevertheless the act of doing counts is an important factor in accountability for many and meets our DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) requirements to curb diversion. If a program member fails repeated pill counts they are “put on warning” that they must have a working phone with voicemail and to check daily for the call that will be coming.