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Research roundup: New medical coding system; choosing a hospice; revamping Medicare

Research roundup: New medical coding system; choosing a hospice; revamping Medicare

On October 1, 2014, all health plans, health data clearinghouses, and health care providers that transmit health information electronically must use a new, significantly broader, coding system, called ICD-10, for diagnoses and inpatient procedures. [More]
Prescriptions of opioid analgesics increased during U.S. emergency department visits

Prescriptions of opioid analgesics increased during U.S. emergency department visits

George Washington University (GW) researchers report dramatic increases in prescriptions of opioid analgesics, such as Percocet, Vicodin, oxycodone and Dilaudid, during U.S. emergency department visits from 2001 to 2010. [More]

Storytelling can help doctors recall opioid guidelines

In the fight against a nationwide prescription opioid abuse epidemic, Penn Medicine researchers are using storytelling to help doctors recall important, potentially lifesaving national guidelines on how to prescribe these medications. [More]

Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. [More]
Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

On Wednesday, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said the obvious: losing your job and choosing to work less aren't the same thing. [More]
MNK-795 for acute pain management: an interview with Dr Lynn Webster

MNK-795 for acute pain management: an interview with Dr Lynn Webster

MNK-795 is a product in development that is intended to be used for acute pain. It has some unique properties. First, it is an extended release formulation, meaning that it’s going to last more than three to four hours. It was studied to be dosed once every 12 hours, and that is unique for an acute pain formulation. [More]
Mallinckrodt to present MNK-795 clinical data at PAINWeek 2013

Mallinckrodt to present MNK-795 clinical data at PAINWeek 2013

Mallinckrodt announced today that the first clinical data on MNK-795 will be presented at PAINWeek 2013, to be held September 4-7 in Las Vegas. MNK-795 is an extended-release oral formulation of oxycodone and acetaminophen that has been studied in clinical trials for the management of moderate to severe acute pain where the use of an opioid analgesic is appropriate. [More]

State highlights: D.C. to use cash reserves to pay Medicaid providers off; Texas, Planned Parenthood reach overbilling settlement; Veteran health centers at colleges

How do you spend $48 million in unbudgeted taxpayer money without getting an OK from elected lawmakers? In the District of Columbia, there's pretty much only one way, and that's the way Mayor Vincent C. Gray is proposing to settle a high-stakes dispute with D.C. Chartered Health Plan. Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro confirmed Wednesday that the plan is to pay the District's share of the settlement -- a little over $35 million, with federal Medicaid dollars accounting for the rest -- out of the city's contingency cash reserve (DeBonis, 7/24). [More]
Poor, less educated patients are less likely to receive opioid pain medications in emergency rooms

Poor, less educated patients are less likely to receive opioid pain medications in emergency rooms

Patients in moderate to severe pain in emergency rooms across the U.S. are less likely to receive opioid pain medications if they are black, Hispanic, poor, or have less education, compared to more affluent patients, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. [More]
Positive data from Nektar’s NKTR-192 Phase 1a study on acute pain

Positive data from Nektar’s NKTR-192 Phase 1a study on acute pain

Nektar Therapeutics announced today that positive data from the first single-ascending dose Phase 1a clinical study of NKTR-192, the company's novel short-acting mu-opioid analgesic candidate, demonstrate that the drug candidate achieved its target pharmacokinetic profile. [More]

Roundup: Texas probes Xerox in Medicaid overbilling; Miss. abortion clinic fights to stay open

Texas authorities are investigating whether Xerox Corp. played a role in allowing dentists to allegedly overbill the state's Medicaid system by millions of dollars. [More]

New FDA risk management plan aims to reduce opioid abuse in the U.S.

A new risk management plan from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help clinicians properly prescribe drugs with addiction potential aims to help reduce the growing epidemic of opioid abuse in the United States. [More]
BCBSMA institutes enhanced safety measures on coverage for powerful pain killers

BCBSMA institutes enhanced safety measures on coverage for powerful pain killers

In an effort to limit possible prescription narcotic misuse and dependence among its members, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) announced today that it is instituting enhanced safety measures on how it will cover the use of powerful pain killers. [More]

AP: Prescription painkiller sales have 'exploded,' leading experts to fear 'addiction epidemic'

Sales of the nation's two most popular prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country, an Associated Press analysis shows, worrying experts who say the push to relieve patients' suffering is spawning an addiction epidemic. [More]

New method can predict whether Tylenol-poisoning patients need liver transplant

University of Utah mathematicians developed a set of calculus equations to make it easier for doctors to save Tylenol overdose patients by quickly estimating how much painkiller they took, when they consumed it and whether they will require a liver transplant to survive. [More]

Inhibition of Sab protein protects liver from acetaminophen toxicity

New research from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) may help prevent damage to the liver caused by drugs like acetaminophen and other stressors. [More]

Study finds high prevalence of prescription pain medication addiction in chronic patients

A new study by Geisinger Health System researchers finds a high prevalence of prescription pain medication addiction among chronic pain patients. [More]
QRxPharma seeks NDA approval for MoxDuo IR

QRxPharma seeks NDA approval for MoxDuo IR

QRxPharma Limited announced today initiation of the New Drug Application (NDA) approval process for MoxDuo IR with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This NDA submission sets the stage for the regulatory approval process for MoxDuo IR for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain, a $2.5 billion segment of the $8 billion spent annually on prescription opioids in the US. [More]
Bio-Nucleonics' generic Metastron, an option for metastatic cancer bone pain therapy

Bio-Nucleonics' generic Metastron, an option for metastatic cancer bone pain therapy

Bio-Nucleonics' lead product Strontium Chloride Sr-89 Injection USP (Strontium-89), which is the generic version of Metastron®, is an option to consider for metastatic cancer bone pain therapy, typically caused by advanced stage breast, prostate or lung cancer. [More]

Unintentional prescription opioid overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.

Unintentional overdose deaths in teens and adults have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. In some 20 states in 2007 the number of unintentional drug poisoning deaths exceeded either motor vehicle crashes or suicides, two of the leading causes of injury death. [More]