Uganda has a strategy for giving scarce morphine to patients in pain. But many poor nations won’t emulate it, over fear of an opioid epidemic

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Designers hope the overdose treatment will soon be as ubiquitous as fire extinguishers or defibrillators

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I recently hobbled to the drugstore to pick up painkillers after minor outpatient knee surgery, only to discover that the pharmacist hadn’t yet filled the prescription. My doctor’s order of 90 generic Percocet exceeded the number my insurer would approve, he said. I left a short time later with a bottle containing a smaller number

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A wearable device claiming to block the pain of opioid withdrawal has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration under an expedited review process for medical devices. However, patient safety advocates note that the device has limited evidence for its effectiveness

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Jon McHann, 56, got started on prescription opioids the way a lot of adults in the U.S. did: he was in pain following an accident. In his case, it was a fall. “I hit my tailbone just right, and created a severe bulging disc” that required surgery, McHann says. McHann, who lives in Smithville, Tenn., expected to make a full recovery and go back to work as a heavy haul truck driver. But 10 years after his accident, he’s still at home

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Another lawmaker is asking insurers whether their policies have made it easier for patients to access cheaper, more addictive drugs over less addictive alternatives. Meanwhile, the insurance industry trade group pledged additional steps to combat inappropriate prescribing

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It’s worth noting that Medicaid expansion helps pay for opioid addiction treatment, said Brendan Saloner of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Medicaid expansion covers costs treatments like detoxification, outpatient treatment, and treatment for masked health conditions

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Concern over illicit use and addiction is putting morphine out of reach for millions of patients globally who need it for pain relief

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