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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]
State regulators seek to impose controls on new painkiller

State regulators seek to impose controls on new painkiller

Several outlets look at prescription drug issues, including how to handle Zohydro -- a powerful painkiller approved by the FDA in March, and ethical questions raised by new "smart pills." [More]
Teva announces positive results from pivotal Phase III study of hydrocodone bitartrate extended-release tablets

Teva announces positive results from pivotal Phase III study of hydrocodone bitartrate extended-release tablets

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. today announced positive results from a pivotal Phase III study of hydrocodone bitartrate extended-release tablets designed with Teva's proprietary technology providing potential abuse-deterrent properties (CEP-33237). [More]
Purdue Pharma seeks FDA authorization to market once-daily hydrocodone bitartrate tablet

Purdue Pharma seeks FDA authorization to market once-daily hydrocodone bitartrate tablet

Purdue Pharma L.P. announced that it has filed a New Drug Application (NDA) with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration seeking authorization to market a once-daily, single-entity hydrocodone bitartrate tablet (HYD). [More]
Braeburn announces new clinical trial for Probuphine based on clear guidance from FDA

Braeburn announces new clinical trial for Probuphine based on clear guidance from FDA

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals announced today the initiation of a new clinical trial for Probuphine® based on clear guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The study, which was submitted for FDA review in mid-March, is expected to begin enrollment by mid-year and to be completed by the middle of 2015. [More]
Children get codeine in U.S. emergency rooms, despite risks: Study

Children get codeine in U.S. emergency rooms, despite risks: Study

Despite its potentially harmful effects in children, codeine continues to be prescribed in U.S. emergency rooms, according to new research from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]
Egalet provides business update, reports full year 2013 financial results

Egalet provides business update, reports full year 2013 financial results

Egalet Corporation ("Egalet") today reported business highlights and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2013. This marks the first time that Egalet is reporting its operating results as a public company. [More]
Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

In preparation for the new ACO environment, leaders recognized the contribution palliative care can make to health care "value," especially in the care of our sickest (and most expensive) patients ... [More]
Study reveals that more than 14% of pregnant women are prescribed opioids for pain

Study reveals that more than 14% of pregnant women are prescribed opioids for pain

More than 14 percent of pregnant women were prescribed opioids (narcotics) for pain at some time during their pregnancy, according to a study posted to the online version of Anesthesiology. [More]
Scientists investigate factors that influence choice of abused drugs

Scientists investigate factors that influence choice of abused drugs

Prescription opioid abuse has reached epidemic levels in the past 15 years. Scientists investigating why people favor one drug over another have found that oxycodone and hydrocodone are the drugs of choice for 75% of opioid-dependent individuals. [More]
Viewpoints: Shinseki's efforts haven't yet solved VA's problems; treating children with mental illness is complicated; abuse of painkillers

Viewpoints: Shinseki's efforts haven't yet solved VA's problems; treating children with mental illness is complicated; abuse of painkillers

Just in time for Veterans Day, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, announced last week that his department had reduced its backlog of overdue disability claims from more than 600,000 in March to about 400,000. "The trend line is in the right direction," Shinseki told reporters, noting that the VA had cut the number of claims older than a year by 93%. With hundreds of thousands of cases still unresolved, Shinseki hasn't gotten much credit so far -; but to the surprise of his critics, he's on track to achieve his goal of eliminating the backlog by 2015. Still, that won't solve all the VA's problems; far from it (Doyle McManus, 11/10). [More]

Access to health care increases prescription opioid abuse

Researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis say one way to gauge the extent of prescription opioid pain reliever abuse in any Indiana county is to count the number of health care providers, particularly dentists and pharmacists. [More]
Viewpoints: House Republicans help themselves, and the country, with smart, tough questions to Tavenner; Kentucky senators out of step with eager constituents; replace health law with single payer system

Viewpoints: House Republicans help themselves, and the country, with smart, tough questions to Tavenner; Kentucky senators out of step with eager constituents; replace health law with single payer system

When House Republicans direct their opposition to Obamacare toward aggressive oversight rather than apocalyptic budget shenanigans, they can do themselves and the country a lot of good. That was obvious when the House Ways and Means Committee posed some smart, tough questions about HealthCare.gov to Marilyn Tavenner, who, as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is perhaps the person most directly responsible for the fiasco. Yes, there were a few "gotcha" questions meant to showcase individual representatives' hatred of the health-care law. But for the most part, the queries seemed designed to find a path toward more competent management of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (10/29). [More]
Viewpoints: Policy cancellations raising ire; One woman's story on more affordable insurance; Daschle: Democrats want deal on entitlements

Viewpoints: Policy cancellations raising ire; One woman's story on more affordable insurance; Daschle: Democrats want deal on entitlements

The insurers have assumed that everyone would be required to have coverage by March 31. If the enrollment period is extended for a significant period, the sickest people are most likely to sign up early and the healthiest will likely hang back, driving up the costs ... there is no need for despair. In the long run, the technical problems can and will be fixed and most Americans will be better off. [More]
New study reveals striking data about misuse of painkillers and sedatives by teens, young adults

New study reveals striking data about misuse of painkillers and sedatives by teens, young adults

​With prescription drug abuse at epidemic levels nationwide, and overdoses killing more people than auto accidents in many states, a new University of Michigan study provides striking new data about the misuse of potent prescription painkillers and sedatives by teens and young adults. [More]
Viewpoints: Sen. Sanders says don't cut entitlements before making corporations pay taxes; Rep. Smith argues that if entitlements are tamed, other priorities will suffer

Viewpoints: Sen. Sanders says don't cut entitlements before making corporations pay taxes; Rep. Smith argues that if entitlements are tamed, other priorities will suffer

Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. A 2008 report from the Government Accountability Office found that was the case with 1 in 4 large U.S. corporations. At a time when multinational corporations and the wealthy are avoiding an estimated $100 billion a year in taxes by stashing money in tax havens like the Cayman Islands, we need to make them pay taxes just as middle-class Americans do (Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 10/28). [More]
Over-the-counter ibuprofen appears to be safest alternative for reducing post-operative pain

Over-the-counter ibuprofen appears to be safest alternative for reducing post-operative pain

You may be able to eat all of the ice cream you want after having your tonsils removed, but researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit say you don't necessarily need a prescription to reduce post-operative pain -- an over-the-counter pain-reliever is just as effective. [More]
Study assess use of prescription painkillers for chronic pain among patients pre- and post-obesity surgery

Study assess use of prescription painkillers for chronic pain among patients pre- and post-obesity surgery

Chronic use of prescription painkillers, also known as opioids, among obese patients prior to bariatric surgery continues after surgery, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. [More]