Oxy Watchdog

Keeping An Eye On OxyContin

Posts Tagged ‘doctors’

Fla. police, pharmacists align to curb drug abuse in state

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 25, 2010

In an effort to decrease the growing prescription drug abuse problem in Florida, county sheriff departments have reached out to pharmacists with positive results, reports this article in the Chipley Paper. After one sheriff wrote a letter last year, other departments have used it as a template requesting pharmacists to use extra precaution when filling prescriptions for highly abused painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and other narcotics. In response, some pharmacies have adopted a blanket policy in which they will not fill a prescription from out of town, while others will call the physician to verify the legitimacy of the prescription. According to the article, oxycodone was responsible for 1,948 Florida deaths in 2009 and the state has faced a number of issues with its prescription monitoring program and with doctors’ fraudulent prescribing practices.

To read about prescription drug abuse in Florida, go here.

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

States move closer to sharing prescription databases, curbing doctor shopping

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 19, 2010

Beginning next year, states in the U.S. will edge closer to unifying their prescription drug monitoring programs to share information and potentially cut down on doctor shopping, reports this article from CBS Business News. Though interstate prescription database sharing has been discussed for some years, the inconsistencies among each state’s program make unifying the system challenging, according to this report from the Council of State Governments. Because prescriptions drugs are the second-most abused drugs in the nation behind marijuana, nearly every state now has an existing or pending monitoring program aimed at curbing the epidemic.

Read about the Congressional caucus that examined interstate drug abuse here.

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Opiate addiction treatment faces mixed reviews in U.S.

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 11, 2010

Though buprenorphine, a drug used to fight addiction to opiate painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, was approved for use in the U.S. in 2002, it hasn’t met with the anticipated amount of success, reports this article from Medpage Today. Unlike methadone, the current opiate treatment drug of choice, buprenorphine partially inhibits the brain from receiving the feeling of euphoria associated with opiate use. What’s novel about the drug is that primary care doctors can prescribe it and patients can then treat themselves from home, rather than checking into a clinic. However, many physicians are hesitant to not only treat addicts, but to take on the added responsibility of prescribing the drug.

A large problem with the treatment of opiate abuse is that the addict can often become addicted to the treatment drug. Though it is virtually impossible to overdose on buprenorphine, it’s not exempt from abuse. In fact, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reports that buprenorphine ranks among the top 25 most frequently identified substances analyzed in laboratories and in 2006, an estimated 4,440 emergency room visits were associated with buprenorphine misuse.

Despite its abuse in the U.S., buprenorphine has found some success in France, where it’s credited for a decrease in overdose deaths and a six-fold drop in injection drug users.

Watch a video from Medpage Today about buprenorphine here.

Posted in Informational, Pain Advocates, Pharmaceutical Industry | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fla. doctors find few repercussions in fraudulent prescribing practices

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 3, 2010

More than a fourth of doctors in Florida found to have illegally prescribed medication are still practicing and prescribing without repercussions, reports this investigation by the St. Petersburg Times. The in-depth investigation found that the system for identifying and disciplining the doctors is slow and ineffective, doing little to curb a prescription drug abuse epidemic that kills seven Floridians per day. Though some of the doctors prescribed the drugs for illicit reasons, most were certified professionals taking advantage of the lucrative dealing. Whats more, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program that went into effect Oct. 1 leaves loopholes that do not address the trend.

Read about Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program here.
Information on pill-related overdoes in Florida can be found here.

Posted in Crime, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Doctor fraudulently prescribes painkillers to homeless

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 15, 2010

Zhiwei Lin, a California neurologist, was arrested earlier this month for writing prescriptions for Vicodin to those who did not need it. Like OxyContin, Vicodin is a powerful, Schedule II opiate prone to abuse. According to this article in the Los Angeles Times, the homeless “patients” were paid by drug dealers to obtain prescriptions from Lin. The dealers would then sell the painkillers at an increased price. Lin’s ability to prescribe drugs prone to abuse, and even his license, may now be in jeopardy.  The arrest follows the case of another California doctor, Lisa Tseng, who has been linked to six overdose deaths from prescriptions she wrote.

Read about the arrest of Lisa Tseng here.

Posted in Crime | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wash. restricts addictive painkillers, pain advocates worry

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 13, 2010

In reaction to new statistics on prescription drug abuse, Washington pushed through unique legislation that limits the amount of opiates patients can be prescribed before consulting with a pain specialist, but now the medical community and pain advocates are voicing their concerns. According to this article in the Seattle Times, state guidelines adopted in 2007 attempting to curb prescription abuse haven’t worked, necessitating more stringent regulations. Though the state has the seventh-highest death rate involving prescription opiates, some doctors and advocates argue that doctors leery of losing their license will withhold drugs from those in need.

Posted in Litigation, Pain Advocates, Policy & Regulation | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: