As opioid addiction and deadly overdoses escalated into an epidemic across the U.S., thousands of surgeons continued to hand out far more pills than needed for postoperative pain relief, according to a KHN-Johns Hopkins analysis of Medicare data

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Deaths from opioid overdoses have increased dramatically over the last decade. In 2017, the latest year for which the U.S. government has statistics on the trend, more than 47,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses

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The percentage of outpatient medical visits that led to a benzodiazepine prescription doubled between 2003 and 2015, according to a study published Friday. And about half those prescriptions came from primary care physicians

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The results highlight the potential for company payments to influence doctors’ treatment decisions, said Dr. Yoram Unguru of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics in Baltimore, who wasn’t involved in the study. “Patients trust that their physicians will make objective and evidence-based decisions on their behalf, which reflect their interests and that these decisions will also limit harms,”

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US prosecutors said numerous Novartis AG sales representatives will testify they plied doctors with lavish meals, booze and other benefits in exchange for promises to prescribe the Swiss company’s drugs, as a seven-year-old case moves toward trial

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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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An Ethical Dilemma for Doctors

September 25, 2017

When is it OK to prescribe opioids? Our Travis Rieder writes, “America’s opioid crisis is getting worse. The role of prescription opioids has both the medical establishment and the government justifiably worried.”

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Listen now as our Travis Rieder joins the APA’s Medical Mind podcast to describe his experience of opioid withdrawal after a serious accident and outline a bioethical framework for opioid prescribing

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