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RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

RAND study: Specific state guidance can influence patient access to effective heroin treatment

State policies can influence the number of physicians licensed to prescribe buprenorphine, a drug that can treat addiction to heroin and other opioids in outpatient settings, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [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]
FDA approves Contrave extended-release tablets for chronic weight management

FDA approves Contrave extended-release tablets for chronic weight management

Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. and Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. jointly announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Contrave® extended-release tablets as an adjunct to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity for chronic weight management in adults with an initial body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) in the presence of at least one weight-related comorbid condition. [More]
Low dose of opioids including methadone effective for treatment of testosterone suppression

Low dose of opioids including methadone effective for treatment of testosterone suppression

Treatment for opioid addiction tampers with the testosterone levels of male but not female opioid users, McMaster University research has shown. [More]
Researchers focus on how exposure to opioids may alter expression of OPRM1 gene

Researchers focus on how exposure to opioids may alter expression of OPRM1 gene

Some infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) secondary to in-utero opioid exposure have a more difficult time going through withdrawal than others, but the underlying reasons are not well understood. [More]
New therapeutic drug may prevent respiratory depression in patients taking opioid medication

New therapeutic drug may prevent respiratory depression in patients taking opioid medication

People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally. [More]
Rockefeller scientists identify protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize

Rockefeller scientists identify protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize

Using an innovative tool that captures heretofore hidden ways that cells are regulated, scientists at Rockefeller University have identified a protein that makes breast cancer cells more likely to metastasize. [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]
State highlights: Ohio managed care plans launch; Bluecross Blueshield plan faces Ore. lawsuit; N.Y. policy on unvaccinated children upheld

State highlights: Ohio managed care plans launch; Bluecross Blueshield plan faces Ore. lawsuit; N.Y. policy on unvaccinated children upheld

A selection of health policy stories from Ohio, Oregon, New York, Colorado, Iowa, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, California and Minnesota. [More]
Researchers find sharp increase in deaths from commonly prescribed painkillers in US, Canada

Researchers find sharp increase in deaths from commonly prescribed painkillers in US, Canada

The number of deaths involving commonly prescribed painkillers is higher than the number of deaths by overdose from heroin and cocaine combined, according to researchers at McGill University. [More]
Janssen, Viiv Healthcare to develop single tablet regimen for maintenance treatment of HIV

Janssen, Viiv Healthcare to develop single tablet regimen for maintenance treatment of HIV

Janssen R&D Ireland Ltd announced today that they have entered into a collaboration with ViiV Healthcare to develop and commercialize a new single tablet regimen containing Janssen's Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor rilpivirine (marketed as EDURANT®) and ViiV's Integrase Inhibitor dolutegravir(marketed as TIVICAY®) as the sole active ingredients for the maintenance treatment of people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). [More]
BioDelivery Sciences receives approval of NDA for BUNAVAIL from FDA

BioDelivery Sciences receives approval of NDA for BUNAVAIL from FDA

BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. received approval of the New Drug Application (NDA) for BUNAVAIL™ (buprenorphine and naloxone) buccal film (CIII) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [More]
State highlights: NYC plan for treating mentally ill; Kan. town gets abortion services again; Iowa medical marijuana

State highlights: NYC plan for treating mentally ill; Kan. town gets abortion services again; Iowa medical marijuana

Mayor Bill de Blasio has asked several of his commissioners and aides to provide him with a plan by September to reduce the rate of incarceration among New Yorkers with mental illness. The effort, which City Hall will announce on Monday, is the administration's first major criminal justice initiative. Named the Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System, it will include recommendations from the police and correction commissioners, the Manhattan district attorney, hospital administrators and judges (Goldstein, 6/1). [More]

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]
HHS calls health care providers to expand use of medications to treat opioid addiction, reduce overdose deaths

HHS calls health care providers to expand use of medications to treat opioid addiction, reduce overdose deaths

​A national response to the epidemic of prescription opioid overdose deaths was outlined yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine by leaders of agencies in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. [More]
State highlights: Home care workers' pay and Medicaid budgets; Calif. mental health grants; NYU ER reopens

State highlights: Home care workers' pay and Medicaid budgets; Calif. mental health grants; NYU ER reopens

A new rule from the Obama administration designed to provide better pay and working conditions to 2 million home care workers is forcing many states to rethink how they look at Medicaid payments and may result in higher Medicaid costs. Starting Jan. 1, home care workers in 29 states will, for the first time, be eligible for the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and overtime pay, under a new regulation from the U.S. Department of Labor. These workers go to homes of the elderly and the disabled to help with cooking, bathing and other daily tasks, and are paid by the clients or through Medicaid (Prah, 4/25). [More]
Methadone safety: New clinical practice guideline from American Pain Society

Methadone safety: New clinical practice guideline from American Pain Society

Improved physician education and patient counseling about methadone safety and ECG monitoring to identify patients at high risk for cardiac problems will lead to safer use of the medication, according to the American Pain Society's Clinical Practice Guideline on Methadone Safety, published this week in The Journal of Pain. [More]

Researcher develops novel IBT to help opioid-dependent Vermonters

Opioid dependence - addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers - has reached epidemic levels across the country, with treatment waitlists also at an all-time high. [More]

2014 PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference to highlight health crises of inadequate pain management

There are 116 million people in pain. There are 4,000 pain specialists. That's 29,000 patients per pain specialist. There are simply not enough pain specialists to go around. [More]
Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

Study shows important parallels between epidemic of HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction

​There are important parallels between the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the current epidemic of opioid addiction - ones that could trigger a significant shift in opioid addiction prevention, diagnosis and treatment. [More]