Published on December 21, 2012 at 5:08 AM
Reuters: U.S. Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Could Have Been Much Worse: CDC
As bad as the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak has been, so far infecting 620 people in 19 states and killing 39 of them, it could have been a lot worse, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday. Prior and much smaller fungal outbreaks involving tainted spinal injections were far more deadly, killing as many as 40 to 50 percent of those who had become infected, said Dr. Rachel Smith, an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Steenhuysen, 12/19).
Also, the Los Angeles Times continues its look at misuse of prescriptions.
Los Angeles Times: Rogue Pharmacists Fuel Addiction
Pharmacists are supposed to be a last line of defense against misuse of prescription medications. By law, they are required to scrutinize prescriptions, size up customers and refuse to dispense a drug when they suspect the patient has no medical need for it. Some, however, provide massive amounts of painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs to addicts and dealers with no questions asked, according to state records, regulators and law enforcement officials. Rogue pharmacists are key enablers of drug abuse and an important source of supply for the illegal market (Glover, Girion and Branson-Potts, 12/20).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.