Weekend Round Up: Mother's Day Edition

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.

NATIONAL NEWS

May 13, 2018

Opioid Crisis Spurs Sometimes-Deadly Abuse of Popular Diarrhea Medicine

abcNEWS

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

The opioid crisis has taken what the FDA calls "many new and troubling turns," and this is one of them. Opioid addicts are buying a popular diarrhea medicine, loperamide, sold under the brand name Imodium -- to get high or as a way to taper off off opioids.

The FDA is taking steps to change the packaging of loperamide to help deter abuse of this drug. It's safe at approved doses but when taken at 100 times the recommended amount, as some addicts do, it can be deadly, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a recent article for the agency.

Find the Full Article Here:Opioids and Diarrhea Medicine

MEDICAL NEWS

May 13, 2018

For the Babies of the Opioid Crisis, the Best Care May Be Mom’s Recovery

Kaiser Health News

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

On average, a baby is born every 15 minutes in the U.S. withdrawing from opioids, according to recent research.

Research is just beginning to point toward the answers. A recent international multisite studytracked nearly 100 children and their mothers, who were in medically assisted treatment during their pregnancy, for 36 months. Hendrée Jones is executive director at UNC Horizons and co-authored the study. She offered reasons to be optimistic.

“The children through time tended to score within the normal range of the tests that we had,” Jones said.

Each mother at Horizons receives a binder that includes their schedule of budgeting, parenting, employment services and group therapy classes. Kasey Morgan decorated her binder with positive messages and says “it’s really like you’re going back to school.” (Sarah Jane Tribble/KHN)

Dr. Stephanie Merhar, a neonatologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, released a separate study after growing increasingly worried the past few years as she treated children coming in for checkups. Her team reviewed the two-year chartsof 87 infants who had been diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome at birth. Each child had been given a standard test for 2-year-olds that evaluated cognitive, language and motor skills — the same assessment used in Jones’ study.

What Merhar found was a call to action, she said.

PAIN MANAGEMENT NEWS

May 8, 2018

NFL Denies Player’s Request to Use Marijuana for Pain Management

Larry Brown Sports

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Free agent NFL running back Mike James began dealing with chronic pain issues when he broke his ankle during a game in 2013, and he quickly became one of many players who grew dependent upon prescription painkillers. The 27-year-old has since found what many feel is a safer alternative to managing his discomfort, but the NFL will not allow him to utilize it.

James, who spent the 2017 season with the Detroit Lions but was placed on IR with a concussion in August, told Steve Politi of NJ.com that he applied for a therapeutic-use exemption for marijuana with the NFL league office last month. As expected, he was denied.

Find the full article here: NFL Denies Player's Request For Marijuana Use of Pain Management

PRESCRIBING NEWS

May 8, 2018

Walmart Will Implement New Opioid Prescription Limit by End of Summer

NPR

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Walmart announced Monday it is introducing new restrictions on how it will fill opioid medication prescriptions in all of its in-store and Sam's Club pharmacies.

It is the company's latest expansion of its Opioid Stewardship Initiative, intended to stem the spread of opioid addiction, prevent overdoses and curb over-prescribing by doctors. It follows a similar initiative by CVS that went into effect in February.

A March report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found overdoses from opioids soared by nearly 30 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Find the Full Article Here: Walmart Follows CVS Lead and Will Limit Opioid Prescriptions by End of Summer

 

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