July 1, 2016
ISSUE | DRUG ABUSE Pa. must tackle opioid crisis The Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Gov. Wolf agreed last week to call a special session of the General Assembly to work on the opioid addiction crisis. The Pennsylvania Medical Society applauds this bipartisan effort. Special sessions are used only for the most troubling issues. Opioid abuse and addiction is one of the most troubling issues facing our state. Pennsylvania ranks number one in the country for overdose deaths of males ages 12 to 24. Let's turn that around and become the best state in the country in addressing this crisis.
May 29, 2016 |
The dentist and the ex-cop first met about five years ago at a pain management seminar at Tufts University. "He asked me what I was doing there," recalls Carlos Aquino, who spent 23 years on the Philadelphia police force before retiring in 1995 as a sergeant specializing in narcotics investigations. "When I told him, he understood. " Elliot Hersh, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania dental school who specializes in pharmacology, understood so well that he soon had Aquino lecturing his students on the dangers of overprescribing painkillers, including opioids such as Percocet and Vicodin.
January 16, 2016 |
Adapt Pharma, which is based in Ireland but operates in the United States from Radnor, said Thursday it struck a deal with the U.S. Communities Purchasing Alliance to provide its Narcan nasal spray at a discounted price to public agencies which respond to emergency opioid overdoses. The alliance, which is a nonprofit local, state and federal government purchasing cooperative, will get the nasal spray at $37.50 per dose. Adapt said in a statement that the "Public Interest Price" is available to 62,000 public agencies and "qualifying group purchasers," such as law enforcement, fire fighters, first responders, departments of health, local school districts, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations.
July 3, 2013 |
Middle-aged women are dying from overdoses of prescription opioid painkillers at "skyrocketing" rates, more than five times as often in 2010 as they were in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. "Mothers, sisters and daughters are dying from prescription drug overdoses more than we've ever seen," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a conference call with reporters. The CDC previously reported that deaths from overdoses of prescription opioid painkillers had exceeded those of cocaine and heroin combined.
July 12, 2016 |
Doctors have long complained about patients demanding inappropriate treatment, especially addictive opioid painkillers. Many say they feel forced to comply for fear they will be rated poorly by patients on the internet or even more official surveys. Now the Obama administration, acknowledging the potential power of bad reviews, is proposing to remove pain management from a patient satisfaction survey that is mailed to hundreds of thousands of people after they are released from the hospital.
April 1, 2016 |
Giving former inmates with histories of addiction monthly injections of a medication that blocks the effects of opioids cuts relapse rates by a third, according to research at five medical centers. Release from prison is among the riskiest times for former addicts, with the loss in physical tolerance and behavioral control so common that often "they relapse the same day," said Charles P. O'Brien, senior author of the study and founding director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Studies of Addiction.
March 2, 2016 |
Egalet Corporation, Wayne, said Monday the Food and Drug Administration has accepted its new drug application for an extended release version of morphine. The company hopes the drug will be approved as early as mid-October. Egalet's technology aims to make prescription pain medications less prone to abuse, through a high-pressure molding process of the tablets similar to what is used in plastics. Traditional opioid pain killers, such as morphine and OxyContin, can be abused by crushing to snort, or dissolving to inject.
November 11, 2013 |
It's a common scenario. A barely-used bottle of Vicodin, prescribed for your teenage son when his wisdom teeth were extracted, sits in your medicine cabinet for months - until your son's friend finds and steals it. Abuse and diversion of opioid painkillers have become a public health crisis, experts agree. The number of overdose deaths has risen relentlessly from 4,000 in 1999 to nearly 17,000 in 2010 - more than 100,000 people in a decade, federal figures show. That's why, after anguished debate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month recommended making it harder for people to get refills of products like Vicodin.
May 25, 2016 |
Anita Gupta first suspected that the Philadelphia heroin trade could be taking a deadlier turn months ago, when she saw overdose patients at Hahnemann University Hospital who didn't respond as they should have to the antidote drug emergency workers gave them. "The symptoms were worse than we were used to seeing," said Gupta, an anesthesiologist, pharmacist, and pain specialist at Drexel University College of Medicine. "We were getting patients with symptoms of near-death, and often required multiple doses of the antidote naloxone.