“Physicians and patients have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the highly regulated prescription drug industry,” District Judge David Nuffer wrote

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Williamson has some of West Virginia’s highest rates of obesity, disability, and arthritis — in a state that already ranks among the worst in those categories. An adult in Williamson has twice the chance of dying from an injury as the average American. This is why the opioid crisis is so hard to handle, here and in so many communities: The underlying drugs are often being prescribed for real reasons

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Spending on such commercials grew 62 percent since 2012, even as ad spending for most other product types was flat. “Pharmaceutical advertising has grown more in the past four years than any other leading ad category,” said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media, a consulting firm that tracks multimedia advertising. It exceeded $6 billion last year, with television picking up the lion’s share

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Firsts can be life changing — think about your first kiss, your first time behind the wheel of a car. But what about the first time you got a prescription for a narcotic?

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Listen Now: Our Travis Rieder joins host, Sheilah Kast to discuss his travails with prescription opioid use and withdrawal, and implications for ways in which doctors ought to respond to the problem

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Arthritis Pills or Dinner

December 19, 2016

With health benefits threatened, retired coal miners face impossible choices. “If my blood pressure’s not real high, maybe skip that, or if I can stand the arthritis pain, don’t take that for a while,” he said, kneeling on his living room floor surrounded by orange prescription vials. “You do what you have to do to survive. Coal miners are proud people, we won’t beg. But when they owe it to you, it’s not begging.”

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As the nation continues to confront an epidemic of opioid and prescription painkiller addiction and overdoses, its victims seem to flood emergency rooms. But a study out Monday highlights a surprising group of patients suffering from opioid poisoning at rates that have also marked a dramatic increase: adolescents, children and even toddlers

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Some readers are using a ProPublica database to search for doctors who freely prescribe opioid painkillers, raising questions

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