[This post has been re-dated to a year from the original]
You might wonder what the change of direction is about, here.. Modafinil? WTF?
Here’s the story: Some months ago, my friend Chris told me that he had been prescribed this new drug, Modafinil, and that it was making a huge difference to his life. He was able to get on and do what he must, he joined a gym and started a weightloss program which turned out very successfully, and he was trying to persuade me to give it a shot as well. I was reluctant until I thought it through.. Chris and I both suffer from OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) and so we are unable to obtain Modafinil on the PBS, because its only prescribed for provable narcolepsy here in Australia (unlike the US where both of us would be eligible, because of OSA). Instead, we have to pay $120 or thereabouts per month, in order to stay awake long enough to do what we need to. (I’ve gone with getting it from overseas)
For various reasons I was looking at the Medicare Site today (actually contemplating getting credentialled and getting a Provider Number and going to work for a GP instead of doing what I currently do) and noticed the PBS link. So I looked in there and saw the link to Modafinil. Followed the link and found out just how hard it is to get prescribed, even if you do have Narcolepsy. I found it really hard to believe what I was reading: even if you are a narcoleptic, you can’t get Modafinil if dexamphetamine will do. Here’s a quote from the site
Initial treatment, by a qualified sleep medicine practitioner or a qualified neurologist, of patients with narcolepsy where:
1. therapy with dexamphetamine sulfate poses an unacceptable medical risk or
2. intolerance to dexamphetamine sulfate of a severity necessitating permanent treatment withdrawal develops
WHAT THE….? The Australian Government prefers that you take amphetamines than a drug which is a) not addictive, b) wont give you a high and c) can be withdrawn immediately with no side effects. You just have to wonder who runs the PBS Authority show down there in Canberra.