Texas Patient Notification Legislation Heard in Public Health Committee

National and state experts and activists recently testified in favor of Texas House Bill HB 1710, sponsored by Representative Ana-Maria Ramos, requiring a conversation between prescriber and patient as well as parents, when the patient is under 18, to discuss the risks of addiction upon prescription of an opioid-based painkiller. Prevent Opioid Abuse Founder Elaine Pozycki was joined by Dr. Victor Vines, MD, Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and Dr. Crispa Aeschbach-Jachmann, MD, an Austin based psychiatrist in testifying in favor of this common sense legislation that is driving down the number of opioid pain killer prescriptions issued in the states where it has been implemented, sparking productive conversations about the use of non-opioid pain relief alternatives.
They were well-received by the House Public Health Committee members. There is a lot of support building for the legislation and for a similar bill that also requires that prescribers provide the real time information that patients and parents need to make an informed decision about prescription opioids: HB 2811, sponsored by Representative Four Price.

In less than 2 years, versions of this legislation have already passed in ten states: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Rhode Island and West Virginia. In addition to Texas,t this life-saving legislation is currently being considered by state legislatures in Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington.


OxyContin maker Purdue agrees to settle Oklahoma opioid case

From the Daily Mail:

OxyContin maker Purdue settles with Oklahoma for $270MILLION in opioid case: Sackler family-owned company reaches deal with state in the first of 2,000 lawsuits accusing pharma firms of fueling the drug abuse epidemic

  • Purdue reached a $270M settlement with Oklahoma in opioid case on Tuesday
  • State had sought $20B from the drugmaker for its role in the opioid crisis
  • Purdue said to be exploring Chapter 11 as if faces thousands of suits
  • Oklahoma attorney general will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon

Read complete article below

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6850327/OxyContin-maker-Purdue-agrees-settle-Oklahoma-opioid-case-source.html


Watch 60 Minutes: Did the FDA Ignite the opioid epidemic?


School bus aide crashed bus with kids, revived with Narcan in New Jersey

From ABC 7

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) — The driver of a school bus who was treated with the overdose drug Narcan after crashing in New Jersey Wednesday was actually a bus aide who took matters into her own hands when the assigned driver was running late, officials said.

Read the complete article here.


FDA, drug companies, doctors mishandled use of powerful fentanyl painkiller

From the Washington Post

The Food and Drug Administration, drug companies and doctors mishandled distribution of a powerful fentanyl painkiller, allowing widespread prescribing to ineligible patients despite special measures designed to safeguard its use, according to a report released Tuesday.

Read the whole article here.


“Providing Real Time Information Key to Curbing Opioid Epidemic

Elaine Pozycki’s opinion piece in the St. Louis Patch:


Patients and parents have the right to know that the medicines they’re prescribed can lead to dependency and addiction, yet this is still not the case. A national survey done by the Hazeldon Betty Ford Foundation confirms what I have learned from talking with other parents, who, like me, have lost a child to this epidemic: that 6 in 10 doctors prescribe opioid painkillers without telling patients that they can be addictive.

Read the full article here.


Americans make up 5% of the world population. But we consume 80% of its opioid supply.

While the U.S. accounts for about 5 percent of the global population, its residents consume about 80 percent of the global supply of prescription opioids. The question becomes: Why are Americans in so much pain? Read the full story


Study Links Drug Maker Gifts for Doctors to More Overdose Deaths

Counties where doctors got more meals, trips and consulting fees from opioid makers had higher overdose deaths involving prescription opioids.


Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Opioids for Children

From the New York Times:

Experts say opioids are sometimes warranted for kids, in cases like severe burns or major trauma. But doctors should prescribe carefully, and parents should never keep leftovers in the house.


To curb the opioid epidemic, we all must do more

From Lehigh Valley Live

By Rhonda Miller

Nearly 200 people came together last month on a rainy Saturday night in Bethlehem, participating in a community forum addressing the opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in our region, state and nation. We lose more than 2,000 people in Pennsylvania and more than 50,000 people nationwide each year.

Having lost my son Ben to this epidemic, my mission and the mission of our organization, Speak Up for Ben, which organized the forum, is to prevent more families from going through what my family has gone through.

Read complete article here.