July 8, 2016 |
Patients fill significantly fewer prescriptions for such conditions as nausea and pain in states where medical marijuana is available, researchers reported Wednesday in one of the first studies to examine how medical cannabis might be affecting approved treatments. Prescriptions for all drugs that treat pain combined, from cortisone to OxyContin, were nearly 6 percent lower in states with medical marijuana programs. Anxiety medication was 5 percent lower. The result was a drop of more than $165 million in health-care spending in states that had medical marijuana programs running in 2013, including New Jersey , according to the analysis of national Medicare data.
June 19, 2016 |
Perhaps as never before, the medical establishment is transforming, facing both challenges and benefits. Case in point: electronic medical records. These hold the promise of being able to track health conditions more effectively, but at what cost to the patient-physician relationship if the doctor spends the visit typing on a keyboard? The American College of Physicians, the national organization of internists, has been on the front lines of issues from EMRs to climate change, gun violence, insurance and the cost of prescription drugs.
June 9, 2016
By Michelle Kichline Chester County is one of the wealthiest, one of the best educated, and yes, even one of the healthiest counties in the nation. But we are not immune to the heroin and opiate epidemic. We face the same crisis that is creating significant issues - and causing deaths - across Pennsylvania and America. Recently, Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh asked me to testify at one of his community meetings on the crisis - to confirm that prescription medications and heroin are as much a problem in places like Chester County as they are in Center City.
May 10, 2016
THERE'S NEVER been a secret about the addictive properties of opioid painkillers. But a new investigation by The Los Angeles Times revealed something that wasn't so widely known: The maker of one of the most popular opioid painkillers pushed doctors to adhere to a regimen that, as it turned out, made it more likely for patients to become addicts. And by the way, it was the regimen approved by federal regulators - one with unanticipated consequences that regulators and doctors have been too slow to address.
April 13, 2016
ISSUE | PRESCRIPTION DRUGS Imports make treatment affordable A commentary against drug importation did not mention the role of price increases ("Drug-import proposal puts people at risk," Wednesday). As a "poor senior" on a "tight, fixed-income budget," I am not as afraid of foreign imports as I am of a system that puts medications out of the reach of people who need them. An article in the AARP Bulletin stated, "According to recent estimates, more than one-quarter of prescriptions aren't filled because people can't afford them.
April 7, 2016
By Robert Blancato Presidential front-runner Donald Trump recently unveiled a proposal that would authorize Americans to buy prescription drugs imported from countries like Canada. The measure sounds appealing; who wouldn't want cheaper medicines from our northern neighbor's safe pharmacies? Unfortunately, there's a reason this proposal sounds too good to be true: It is. While seemingly sensible, drug importation is a terrible idea that would put Americans at risk of harm from impure, unsafe, and counterfeit copies of prescription drugs.
February 20, 2016
By John J. Taylor Pennsylvania leads the nation in drug-overdose deaths among young adult men. According to the Trust for America's Health, the state suffered 30.3 deaths per 100,000 young adult male residents. When all ages and genders are combined, Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the nation. It is clear that we are in the midst of an ever-increasing epidemic in which the grief from these tragedies does not end when the family leaves the grave site. It can and often does consume surviving family members with an unrelenting emptiness and lifelong sadness.
February 17, 2016
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law has asked me to pay for repairs to the passenger seat of her car. She was picking up my 9-year-old to stay the night, and when he got inside, he moved the seat forward to better fit his stature. She got upset and said, "The seat was broken. We had it set just right for me when I'm the passenger. " Since he adjusted it, she hasn't been able to reset it. When I asked whether there was a note on the dash that read "Do not move seat," she said no. Then I asked, if this was her best friend's son, would she be requesting money to repair an already-broken seat?
February 9, 2016
ISSUE | DRUG ABUSE Everyone is needed to fight epidemic I am deeply moved by the openness of John Decker's family and their attempt to illuminate a dark and disturbing issue ("Life of promise lost to addiction," Jan. 31). The heroin epidemic in this country is the fault of many. As former Gov. Ed Rendell pointed out, pharmaceutical companies profit from the sale of opioids, physicians freely dispense overly strong painkillers, and the federal Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don't protect us ("To end painkiller epidemic, make it personal," Thursday)
February 5, 2016
By Ed Rendell Last year, 44,000 people died of drug overdoses, and 52 percent of them were related to prescription drugs. More than two million Americans are dependent on opioid painkillers, and every day, 44 Americans die of an overdose of these drugs. When the cost of these painkillers becomes too great, addicts will turn to lower-cost heroin. In 2007, there were 373,000 heroin addicts in the United States, and 2,400 deaths resulted from heroin overdoses. By 2014, those numbers ballooned to 914,000 addicts and 10,500 overdose deaths.