Weekend Round Up

With opioid prescribing regulations being updated, national policy announcements, state guidelines as well as daily commentary regarding the opioid epidemic flooding news outlets, the AffirmHealth Weekend Round Up looks at the top headlines that caught our team’s eye. From controlled substance protocols to research focusing on pain management, addiction medicine, the ER and more provided to you in an easy to access summary. News you can use. Welcome to the Weekend Round Up.



May 16, 2018

Chronic Pain Sufferers Say They Are Having Trouble Getting Medicine Due To Opioid epidemic


AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Data shows the amount of opioids prescribed in the US has decreased every year since 2010.

This is in part because legislative regulations have intensified and clinical policies have changed. Park says the public health emergency has sparked new guidelines from insurance providers, Medicare and even the CDC.

“So there is anxiety among doctors, so the majority of doctors no longer want to prescribe opioids because they fear they are not going to be following the regulations correctly. Some follow the regulations more tightly than required. Same with the pharmacies,” said Dr. Katherine Park.

Find the Full Article Here:Chronic Pain Suffers Saying They Are Having Trouble Getting Medication Due to Opioid Epidemic



May 17, 2018

FDA Approves First Drug Designed to Prevent Migraines

The New York Times

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

The first medicine designed to prevent migraines was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, ushering in what many experts believe will be a new era in treatment for people who suffer the most severe form of these headaches.

The drug, Aimovig, made by Amgen and Novartis, is a monthly injection with a device similar to an insulin pen. The list price will be $6,900 a year, and Amgen said the drug will be available to patients within a week.

Aimovig blocks a protein fragment, CGRP, that instigates and perpetuates migraines. Three other companies — Lilly, Teva and Alder — have similar medicines in the final stages of study or awaiting F.D.A. approval.

Find the Full Article Here: FDA Approves Migraines Prevention Drug

Opioid Crisis

May 18, 2018

Opioid Crisis: What People Don’t Know About Heroin

Rolling Stone

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Heroin generally comes in three different forms in the United States: powder heroin – which falls into two subcategories, brown and off-white – tar heroin and heroin pills. Historically, the Mississippi River has been the line of demarcation between the tar and powder markets. Off-white powder heroin, which originates in Southeast and Southwest Asia, is generally considered the most desirable kind. Powder, with its origins in Mexico, often carries a deeper, browner hue, and is usually less powerful. On the West Coast, heroin comes almost exclusively from Mexico and South America and is most often sold in tar form; little balls of goo that look like black earwax. The third, least common form of heroin is "pill" form. "Pills" refer to heroin often sold in gel capsules and mixed with other powders – be it cocaine, methamphetamine or the more common heroin adulterants like powdered lactose, quinine and baby laxative. Pills are usually the cheapest and lowest-quality form of the drug.

Find the full article here: What People Don't Know About Heroin


May 15, 2018

6 States Sue Maker of OxyContin As They Battle Expenses, Human Costs of Opioid Crisis

USA Today

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Attorney Generals in six states filed lawsuits Tuesday against the maker of OxyContin and other pain medicines, for what the Texas attorney general called misleading marketing tactics that are fueling the nation's opioid epidemic.

Texas' lawsuit accuses Purdue Pharma, the privately held manufacturer of OxyContin, of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by aggressively selling its products "when it knew their drugs were potentially dangerous and that its use had a high likelihood of leading to addiction," state Attorney General Ken Paxton said at a news conference here.

“As Purdue got rich from sales of its opioids, Texans and others across the nation were swept up in a public health crisis that led to tens of thousands of deaths each year due to opioid overdoses,” Paxton said.

Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota and Tennessee filed similar lawsuits Tuesday against the drugmaker with headquarters in Stamford, Conn. All were filed in state courts.

Find the Full Article Here: Six Attorney Generals File Opioid Lawsuits


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