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Study on spider venom may lead to new class of potent painkillers

Study on spider venom may lead to new class of potent painkillers

New research shows that seven compounds of the countless found in spider venom block a key step in the body's ability to pass pain signals to the brain. The hunt for a medicine based on just one of these compounds, which would open up a new class of potent painkillers, is now a step closer according to new research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. [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]
Policymakers need to look beyond painkiller abuse to reduce opioid overdose deaths, say researchers

Policymakers need to look beyond painkiller abuse to reduce opioid overdose deaths, say researchers

According to researchers at Brandeis University, the University of North Florida and Johns Hopkins University, policymakers must look beyond painkiller abuse, also called non-medical use, in their efforts to reduce opioid overdose deaths. [More]
Kaleo, CHMI partner to reduce prescription drug-related deaths

Kaleo, CHMI partner to reduce prescription drug-related deaths

Kaleo, a privately-held pharmaceutical company, today announced a national strategic partnership with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, that will help support its goal of cutting prescription drug-related deaths in half, saving approximately 10,000 lives over five years. [More]
Cimetidine drug could be one of many common over-the-counter medicines to treat cancer

Cimetidine drug could be one of many common over-the-counter medicines to treat cancer

A popular indigestion medication can increase survival in colorectal cancer, according to research published in ecancermedicalscience. But in fact, scientists have studied this for years - and a group of cancer advocates want to know why this research isn't more widely used. [More]
Researchers find potential new way to better control immune-mediated diseases

Researchers find potential new way to better control immune-mediated diseases

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that T-cells - a type of white blood cell that learns to recognize and attack microbial pathogens - are activated by a pain receptor. [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]
Anti-addiction activists press for FDA chief to step down

Anti-addiction activists press for FDA chief to step down

More than a dozen organizations are asking that Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who has headed the Food and Drug Administration since 2009, be replaced because under her leadership they say the agency's policies have contributed to prescription painkiller abuse. [More]
Epidurals and reduced postpartum depression: an interview with Dr. Zakowski

Epidurals and reduced postpartum depression: an interview with Dr. Zakowski

The “maternity blues”, which resolve within 10 days of giving birth, occurs in up to 80% of new moms. A major depressive episode, by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria, is defined as having at least a 2-week period of persistent depressed mood ... [More]
Non-invasive delivery of drugs for effective pain relief

Non-invasive delivery of drugs for effective pain relief

Individuals who are squeamish about injections or are looking for a way to let collagen penetrate deeper into the skin may soon have a solution that is faster, more effective and painless. [More]
Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

In states where it is legal to use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal, new research suggests. [More]

Blood bank industry shrinks

Changed medical practice has reduced the need for blood transfusions, spurring cutbacks and mergers in the blood industry. Meanwhile, Chicago and two counties in California are suing five companies for "aggressive marketing" of opioid painkillers, accusing them of fueling addiction. [More]
First Edition: August 25, 2014

First Edition: August 25, 2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations include reports on Medicare ratings of nursing homes, the growing demand for home-health aides and accounts of the Obama administration's new contraception coverage rules. [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]
People born in Canada are at highest risk of overdose or death from codeine than Immigrants

People born in Canada are at highest risk of overdose or death from codeine than Immigrants

Immigrants are at lower risk of an overdose or death after being prescribed codeine than people born in Canada, a new study has found. [More]
Roundtable discussion on heroin and prescription drug abuse

Roundtable discussion on heroin and prescription drug abuse

Jersey Shore University Medical Center hosted a roundtable discussion on August 4, led by Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, to discuss the continued growth in heroin and prescription drug abuse in the shore community. [More]
Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

Viewpoints: Ryan's 'thoughtful blueprint' to end poverty; GOP challenges after health law ruling

The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee today released a thoughtful blueprint for overhauling $800 billion worth of U.S. anti-poverty programs. [More]
Paracetamol fails to beat placebo at relieving back pain

Paracetamol fails to beat placebo at relieving back pain

Paracetamol is no more effective than placebo at relieving acute lower back pain, according to new clinical trial results. [More]
Paracetamol safety and osteoarthritis: an interview with Professor David Hunter, University of Sydney

Paracetamol safety and osteoarthritis: an interview with Professor David Hunter, University of Sydney

Firstly, paracetamol has been the first-line recommended treatment for osteoarthritis pain for very many years and, secondly, it is readily available over the counter and can be bought in relatively large quantities. [More]
Pain control in osteoarthritis patients: an interview with Dr. Clarence Young, Chief Medical Officer and John Vavricka, President and CEO, Iroko Pharmaceuticals

Pain control in osteoarthritis patients: an interview with Dr. Clarence Young, Chief Medical Officer and John Vavricka, President and CEO, Iroko Pharmaceuticals

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common causes of disability, and inadequate pain control can lead to joint stiffness that may impair mobility for patients. [More]