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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.

The number of opioid prescriptions in Ohio has declined 36 percent from 2012 to 2018, according to a new report from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The decline follows regulations put in place at the state level over the last few years.

Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

Ohio doctors are prescribing fewer opioids while pharmacists are dispensing fewer doses, according to a state report released Monday.

Is America Ready For Prescription Heroin?

Dec 6, 2018

The U.S. drug crisis does not appear to be letting up. The nation experienced a shattering 47,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017.

Driving the surge are potent, cheap synthetics like fentanyl that have spread into the illicit drug supply. In response, communities have been trying a range of interventions, from increasing the availability of the antidote naloxone to upping treatment resources.

What's A Pharmacy Benefit Manager, Anyway?

Aug 28, 2018
Geoff Robins / AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration says pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) perpetuate high drug prices. In Ohio, the state's Medicaid program tore up its contracts with PBMs, saying the companies need to change their business models if they want back in.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Cleveland on Wednesday to announce a series of actions against people accused of illegally distributing opioids.

The steps by the Justice Department target two Ohio doctors, two Chinese citizens and a number of others.

“Today’s announcements are a warning to every trafficker, every crooked doctor or pharmacist, every drug company, every chairman and foreign national and company that puts greed before the lives and health of the American people,” Sessions said.

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