First, Do No Harm

September 21, 2017

Marshaling Clinician Leadership to Counter the Opioid Epidemic | A Special Publication from the National Academy of Medicine

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They want insurers to re-examine coverage policies that, as ProPublica and The New York Times reported Sunday, may be driving patients toward addictive painkillers

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Drug companies and doctors have been accused of fueling the opioid crisis, but some question whether insurers have played a role, too

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National Center for Health Statistics estimates drug overdoses killed 64,070 people in the US last year, a rise of 21% from 2015

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A year ago, Maine was one of the first states to set limits on opioid prescriptions. The goal in capping the dose of prescription painkillers a patient could get was to stem the flow of opioids that are fueling a nationwide epidemic of abuse

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Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why. The answer came when the woman’s daughter, who was taking care of her at home, showed up in the emergency room with a life-threatening overdose of morphine and oxycodone. It turned out she was high on her mother’s medications, stolen from the hospice-issued stash

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Small-molecule drugs are hard to vaccinate against

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“People who use injection drugs should obtain naloxone, the overdose reversal drug, and use drugs with partners who can help them,” said Brendan Saloner

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