AffirmHealth Blog

Mario Ramirez, MD


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The Opioid Epidemic at the End of 2018: Are We Making Progress?

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Dec 11, 2018 9:31:00 AM

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For those of us involved in the opioid epidemic as caregivers, patient advocates, and researchers, there was an interesting moment earlier this year when a series of news stories noted some optimism in the fight against overdose deaths. 

In mid-October, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar commented on preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suggested “that the U.S. may be ‘beginning to turn the tide’ on the opioid crisis.[1]”  “The seemingly relentless trend of rising overdose deaths seems to be finally bending in the right direction…We are so far from the end of the epidemic, but we are perhaps at the end of the beginning.[2]” 

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dsuvia, FDA, Raeford Brown, Opioid Therapy, Opioid Epidemic

The Controversial Approval of Dsuvia by the Food and Drug Administration

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Nov 21, 2018 8:23:13 AM

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Earlier this month on November 2nd, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dsuvia, a new sublingual version of an older drug, sufentanil, that has been in use since 1984. 

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An Update on Provider Education Efforts and the Opioid Epidemic

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Oct 23, 2018 1:54:07 PM

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A Focus on Opioid Education Efforts

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An Update on National Naloxone Distribution Efforts

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Oct 2, 2018 9:30:00 AM

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At AffirmHealth, we’ve directed much of our blog content towards safe and responsible opioid prescribing practices with an emphasis on the application of state and federal guidelines to daily clinician activities. 

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clinical practice improvement activities, clinical decision support, electronic decisions support, clinicians

Implementing Opioid Management Guidelines Through Electronic Decision Support: A Clinician’s View

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Aug 1, 2018 10:01:00 AM

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“The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”—Atul Guwande.[1]

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Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, prescribing protocols, prescriber compliance

Three, Five, and Seven Day-Opioid Limits:  Where Do They Come From and Why You Should Care

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Jun 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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DEA, Clinician Perspective, kratom, patient safety

Kratom: A Primer on the Controversy Surrounding the Opioid Analogue

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on May 29, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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We’ve previously written about the challenges clinicians and patients face as they seek non-opioid alternatives for effective pain management.  One such alternative, Mitragyna speciose, or kratom, has been a focus of increased public discussion lately, but is still a topic that many clinicians are unfamiliar with.  AffirmHealth has developed this short primer to help bring you up to speed so that you can have an informed discussion with your patients.

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medication combinations, Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

Law of Unintended Consequences:  Gabapentin Meets the Opioid Crisis

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on May 7, 2018 4:34:00 PM

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Amidst the opioid and chronic pain crises in the United States, many of us on the front lines of clinical and research medicine have been searching for opioid alternatives that we can safely use to manage our patients’ pain. 

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