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Sunday, July 22, 2018

How Many Times Must We Save People Who Overdose?

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

 

A deeply humane friend recently suggested that medics stop saving people on their third opioid overdose. The subject was naloxone, a medication that can yank users from the jaws of death. It can be given via Narcan nasal spray or injection.

My friend surprised me. I thought that if a life could be so easily and cheaply salvaged (a Narcan kit costs about $40), why not do it?

I do hear the arguments. Addicts usually have brought their problems on themselves. Keeping this rescue drug handy gives them an excuse not to seek treatment. And, something few say out loud, these addicts are drags on society, and their departure would be no great loss.…

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Opioid Makers Cut Controversial Payments To Doctors

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

 

Opioid Makers, Blamed for Overdose Epidemic, Cut Back on Marketing Payments to Doctors

The past two years have been a time of reckoning for pharmaceutical manufacturers over their role in promoting opioid drugs that have fed a national epidemic.

Lawsuits and media reports have accused Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, of aggressively marketing the powerful narcotic even after it knew the drug was being misused. Prosecutors have charged the founder of Insys Therapeutics and several of the company’s sales representatives and executives for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to bribe doctors to use its fentanyl spray for unapproved uses.



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In Trump Country, Highest Prescription Opioid Rates

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

The two fevers gripping the land—opioid addiction and support for Donald Trump—are related. A new study from University of Texas researchers finds that counties with the highest opioid prescription rates were also more likely to favor Trump in the 2016 election.

The study was published Friday in JAMA Network Open. The cross-sectional analysis examined data from the Census Bureau, Medicare Part D, and uselectionatlas.org to try to understand what has been deemed the “Oxy electorate.”

Focusing on legally available prescription pain relievers, like oxycodone and hydrocodone, codeine and morphine, but not illegal substances like heroin, the study examined Medicare Part D records for some 3.7 million people in 3,128 of the 3,142 counties in the U.S.…

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