drug prescriptions | WOSU Radio

drug prescriptions

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Ohio is preparing to prosecute nearly a dozen people who allegedly made and distributed fake prescription pills containing fentanyl. The DEA says counterfeit pills - which can kill those who take them - is a continuing problem in Ohio and Kentucky.

There's no doubt that opioids have been massively overprescribed in U.S. In the haste to address the epidemic, there's been pressure on doctors to reduce prescriptions of these drugs — and in fact prescriptions are declining. But along the way, some chronic pain patients have been forced to rapidly taper or discontinue the drugs altogether.

Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a new message for doctors: Abrupt changes to a patient's opioid prescription could harm them.

In the U.S., the opioid crisis is about too many opioids. In some other parts of the world, the opioid problem is about the exact opposite — a lack of access to powerful pain management drugs. As pharmaceutical companies are being sued in the U.S. for flooding the market with opioids, doctors in West Africa say they can't even get hold of those painkillers.

When prescribed appropriately, opioids can be vital tools in hospitals and clinics. The drugs make patients more comfortable and can speed recovery.

Updated at 4:02 p.m. ET

Federal prosecutors are charging 11 doctors with unlawfully distributing opioids and other substances, in the second large operation to target "pill mill" operators and health care fraud this year. Two other people also face charges in the sting.

"The alleged conduct resulted in the distribution of more than 17 million pills" in the Appalachian region, the Justice Department said.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., unveiled her long-anticipated plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs on Thursday. It is a priority shared by President Trump, fueling a glimmer of hope that there is a deal to be had on the issue ahead of the 2020 elections.

"It is transformative," Pelosi said of her plan."We do hope to have White House buy-in."

doctor
Pixabay

A group that supports single-payer health care is highlighting a study that shows Ohioans are very worried about paying medical costs and are taking dangerous steps because of it.

It's a common problem for many older adults. You may have more than one doctor and each prescribes a different drug for a different illness. Before you know it, you're taking multiple medications and start feeling tired, dizzy or nauseous. Your doctor interprets that as a new symptom for a new disease and prescribes yet another drug.

How An Influx Of Opioids Took Its Toll On Jackson County, Ohio

Jul 19, 2019
Eddie Davis walks past tributes on his way to his son Jeremy's gravestone, who died from the abuse of opioids, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Coalton, Ohio.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The numbers are staggering: An average yearly total of 107 opioid pills per resident were distributed over a seven-year period in this rural county deep in Appalachia.

As the opioid epidemic continues, hospitals are looking for new ways to treat pain and combat addiction. At Indiana University Health, which has 16 hospitals across the state, that means change. They’re cutting back on opioid prescriptions and giving more advice to patients.

As the cost of prescription medication soars, consumers are increasingly taking generic drugs: low-cost alternatives to brand-name medicines. Often health insurance plans require patients to switch to generics as a way of controlling costs. But journalist Katherine Eban warns that some of these medications might not be as safe, or effective, as we think.

Ever wondered what to do with that expired bottle of prescription pills sitting in your medicine cabinet? This Saturday, the DEA has a solution for you to get rid it of safely.

Federal officials are charging 60 defendants across five states in what they're calling the largest opioid prescriber takedown ever. These are the first arrests announced since an opioid strike force began late last year.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

Federal prosecutors are charging 60 doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others in connection with alleged opioid pushing and health care fraud, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The charges came less than four months after the Justice Department dispatched experienced fraud prosecutors across hard-hit regions in Appalachia.

A new report out of the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring (OSAM) Network finds that while opioid prescriptions are falling throughout Ohio, methamphetamine remains widely available in the state. In the Cleveland area, powdered cocaine and meth are becoming more available, and the number of clients entering treatment for meth use increased.

Auditor Dave Yost (left) discusses the bill alongside Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville), the chair of the Health, Human Services and Medicaid committee.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio is suing a company that managed prescription benefits for the state Bureau of Workers' Compensation, seeking to recover nearly $16 million in alleged overcharges for the fund for injured workers.

Pages