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1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

1 in 4 people with histories of nicotine use, substance abuse likely to use opioid painkillers long-term

Opioid painkiller addiction and accidental overdoses have become far too common across the United States. To try to identify who is most at risk, Mayo Clinic researchers studied how many patients prescribed an opioid painkiller for the first time progressed to long-term prescriptions. The answer: 1 in 4. People with histories of tobacco use and substance abuse were likeliest to use opioid painkillers long-term. [More]
Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

Veterans who died from drug overdoses also prescribed benzodiazepines for pain

In a recent study, nearly half of all veterans who died from drug overdoses while prescribed opioids for pain were also receiving benzodiazepines, or benzos, which are common medications for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and alcohol withdrawal. Veterans prescribed higher doses of benzodiazepines while concurrently receiving opioids were at greater risk of overdose death than those on lower doses of benzodiazepines. [More]
Braeburn reports positive topline results from Probuphine Phase 3 study for treatment of opioid addiction

Braeburn reports positive topline results from Probuphine Phase 3 study for treatment of opioid addiction

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, an Apple Tree Partners company, today reported positive topline results from the Phase 3 double-blind, double-dummy clinical study of Probuphine, the investigational subdermal implant containing buprenorphine HCl for the long-term maintenance treatment of opioid addiction. [More]
BioDelivery Sciences calls for new treatment options for opioid addiction

BioDelivery Sciences calls for new treatment options for opioid addiction

As the rate of opioid abuse soars to new levels, growing recognition of the problem is garnering unprecedented media attention—as well as motivating innovative new approaches to better treatment. [More]
Egalet announces business highlights, financial results for first quarter 2015

Egalet announces business highlights, financial results for first quarter 2015

Egalet Corporation, a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing innovative pain treatments, today reported business highlights and financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2015. [More]
Neonatal abstinence syndrome on the rise in U.S.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome on the rise in U.S.

The number of infants born in the United States with drug withdrawal symptoms, also known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), nearly doubled in a four-year period. By 2012, one infant was born every 25 minutes in the U.S. with the syndrome, accounting for $1.5 billion in annual health care charges, according to a new Vanderbilt study published in the Journal of Perinatology. [More]
Prescription painkiller abuse: A worst drug overdose epidemic in history

Prescription painkiller abuse: A worst drug overdose epidemic in history

The Centers for Disease Control calls prescription painkiller abuse "one of the worst drug overdose epidemics in history." [More]
Childbearing women who take painkillers may face increased risk of birth defects

Childbearing women who take painkillers may face increased risk of birth defects

More than one-fourth of privately-insured and one-third of Medicaid-enrolled women of childbearing age filled prescriptions for opioid-based (narcotic) painkillers between 2008 and 2012, according to a new analysis published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). [More]
Three IU researchers receive $2.1 million to develop computational biology models of liver toxicity

Three IU researchers receive $2.1 million to develop computational biology models of liver toxicity

Three Indiana University professors have received $2.1 million to develop a computational model of acetaminophen-induced liver failure -- the leading cause of liver failure in the United States -- by using advanced microscopic and computational technologies that allow scientists to see into the liver of a living animal. [More]
Pain medicine specialist receives award for new advances in oral fluid testing

Pain medicine specialist receives award for new advances in oral fluid testing

This year's Eastern Pain Society Scientific meeting was held at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in late October and is one of the largest meetings of pain physicians and fellows in the tri-state area. [More]
Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Prescription opioids involved in 67.8% of nationwide ED visits in 2010, find researchers

Researchers from Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that prescription opioids, including methadone, were involved in 67.8 percent of (or over 135,971 visits to) nationwide emergency department (ED) visits in 2010, with the highest proportion of opioid overdoses occurring in the South. [More]
Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

My colleagues Margot Sanger-Katz and Amanda Cox wrote recently that shopping around for the best price can be crucial for people renewing their coverage on the health insurance exchanges this fall. [More]
AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

According to a new position statement from the American Academy of Neurology, the risk of death, overdose, addiction or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. [More]
KemPharm to initiate clinical trials in Canada for lead product candidate KP201

KemPharm to initiate clinical trials in Canada for lead product candidate KP201

KemPharm, Inc., a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of proprietary new molecular entity (NME) prodrugs, announced today that it received a No Objection Letter (NOL) from Health Canada to begin clinical trials in Canada for its lead product candidate KP201 (benzhydrocodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen) [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

Prime Healthcare Services Inc., a hospital chain that has come under fire for billing and patient privacy issues, is facing opposition over its potential acquisition of six California hospitals, including two medical centers in Los Angeles County. On Friday, hospital workers, union representatives and elected officials protested against Prime outside St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles, one of the six hospitals put up for sale this year by the Daughters of Charity Health System (Garland, 8/15). [More]
New lifesaving product aims at reducing death toll from heroin abuse

New lifesaving product aims at reducing death toll from heroin abuse

A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse — developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy — is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration. [More]
New tool promises to reduce deaths caused by heroin overdose

New tool promises to reduce deaths caused by heroin overdose

A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse - developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy - is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration. [More]
Prescription drug deaths drop in Fla. after crackdown on doctors

Prescription drug deaths drop in Fla. after crackdown on doctors

Deaths involving narcotic painkillers dropped 26 percent over two years in Florida after stricter doctor scrutiny, according to a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [More]
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries enters into definitive agreement to acquire Labrys

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries enters into definitive agreement to acquire Labrys

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Labrys Biologics, Inc., a privately-held development stage biotechnology company focused on treatments for chronic migraine and episodic migraine, today announced that Teva has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Labrys, broadening Teva's array of biotechnology assets and capabilities. [More]
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