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.
January 22, 2016 |
Six Philadelphia police districts will get drop boxes where residents can safely dispose of unwanted prescription drugs under a pilot program announced Wednesday. More than 100 drop boxes have already been installed in suburban counties. Prescription drugs can pollute water systems if dumped down drains and unused medicines - particularly powerful pain killers - can be abused if they fall into the wrong hands. Nearly half of the 650 people who died of overdoses in Philadelphia in 2014 had prescription opioids in their system.
October 19, 2015 |
Pat McGuckin barely recognized her 39-year-old son. Once a personal trainer and bodybuilder, Michael now was exhausted, his limbs bloated, his mood so volatile that he ripped the phone off her wall. He told his worried mother that he was in pain from a car accident but that a doctor was helping him. On Oct. 21, 2007, his younger brother found Michael in bed, his body cold. A few days later, their mother stared at the words on the death certificate, struggling to understand what had killed her son. She dialed Richard J. Hollawell, a friend of Michael's since childhood in Northeast Philadelphia.
October 2, 2015 |
For more than a year, a team of burglars has been breaking into pharmacies and ATMs across the city, making off with large amounts of cash and prescription drugs, Philadelphia police say. Now, the department is asking for the public's help in catching the men who have been implicated in seven burglaries and an attempted burglary so far - targeting four pharmacies and four ATMs since March 2014. Police say the burglary team is made up of three to four men who have struck all over the city - in Kensington, Overbrook Park, Fern Rock, Eastwick, University City, Manayunk, and the Far Northeast.