Prosecutors Says Insys Bribed 5 NYC Doctors to Prescribe Fentanyl

Five New York City doctors allegedly took at least $800,000 from Insys Therapeutics Inc., to prescribe the spray version of fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid that has been known to cause overdose deaths across the country. According to a 75-page indictment that the Manhattan federal court released on Friday, all the defendants pleaded not-guilty to the charges, which included conspiracy to describe the efforts to overprescribe the medication. The doctors had been “working” for the company's 'Speakers Bureau' for four years starting back in 2012. However, their positions were a way to hide the fact that the “speech” part of the job description was a farce. According to the New York Times, Insys paid more than $100,000 annually to at least two of the doctors. The indictment also says that Insys funneled the illegal payments to the doctors through a sham “speakers bureau.” As members of the bureau, doctors were paid for giving educational presentations. The events were sparsely-attended, and usually by doctors who were well-versed in the main…

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“Enormous” Fentanyl Ring Uncovered in Utah

Fentanyl, a dangerous narcotic that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, has become a drug that is central the opiate epidemic in many hard-hit areas. For many people, fentanyl is a drug that’s unfamiliar, and many drug users e are unaware of its potency or the added potential for overdose. Fentanyl pills are nearly identical to Oxycontin in size and shape and often have been sold masquerading as oxy on the street. A recent fentanyl ring uncovered in Utah sheds light on how and where these pills are manufactured and how they are distributed. Federal agents uncovered a fentanyl ring (allegedly) being run by a young man who is a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, local news station KSL reported. Prosecutors are looking into the possibility that at least 28 deaths are tied to the ring he ran from his basement. The ring, run online from the “dark web”, is once raked in $2.8 million in less than a year. Usually, in these…

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Opioid Commission Holds First Meeting

On Friday June 16, 2017 the newly formed Opioid Commission held their first meeting in the White House. It was attended by some of the more influential players from within Donald Trumps’s circle. Most notably at the helm of the meeting was Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey who is the chairman of the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.  Notable Attendees: Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services David Shulkin, Secretary of Veteran Affairs Kellyanne Conway, Trump Adviser  Jared Kushner, Senior Trump Adviser  Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts Roy Cooper, Governor of North Carolina Patrick Kennedy, former congressman Dr. Bertha Madras,  Harvard Medical Professional Given the list of names and considering the seriousness of the problem United States is facing with the opioid crisis it appears that this administration is ramping up its efforts in fighting, treating and preventing addiction in the USA.   However, many addiction recovery specialist are skeptical. Time will tell how effective this commission is in tackling the opioid epidemic. This was only…

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Older Americans and Prescription Drug Abuse

New research is sounding the alarm about prescription painkiller abuse among older Americans. The research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), reports that roughly 20% of Americans over age 65 take analgesic medication for chronic pain several times per week. Among that group, the rate of prescription drug abuse or addiction is 18%. There are currently 38 million adults over age 65 represent in the U.S, representing 13% of the total population. One third of all prescriptions are written for this group. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), 2.8 million seniors abuse prescription drugs. By 2020, seniors will represent 20% of the population and SAMHSA estimates that 4.4 million will abuse drugs. Many experts believe that aging Baby Boomers are more likely than their parents to turn to drugs for pain relief. Members of the World War II generation showed a tendency to be stoic about pain and to be careful about their use of drugs.…

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Should Doctors Focus Less on Patient Satisfaction to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse?

Far too many health care providers are more concerned with patient satisfaction than they are with protecting patients from the risk of prescription drug abuse and addiction. This attitude is enforced by current teaching in pain management, which is largely based on a concern for providing relief for patients with chronic pain. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that roughly 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Healthcare providers have long struggled with the challenges involved with the long-term treatment of pain, including the need for escalating doses as patients become tolerant to medication and the risk of addiction. Doctors and Hospitals Worry about Negative Patient Feedback According to Sherry Green, CEO of the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), education for prescribers needs to focus less on patient satisfaction and more on improvements in patient functioning. Green also points out that with physician ratings available online, some doctors feel pressured to give patients the drugs they ask for rather than risk a negative rating. Hospitals…

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California Lawmaker Seeks More Oversight of Prescription Drug Deaths

A California state Senator has been working diligently to introduce a bill requiring coroners to report prescription drug deaths to the Medical Board of California. Senator Curren D. Price Jr., who is also Chairman of the Medical Board of California, hopes the new bill will help to identify medical professionals whose prescribing methods may contribute to prescription drug addiction and overdose. The proposed legislation is a response to  an LA Times investigation into coroner reports. The investigation revealed that numerous deaths caused by the overuse of prescription pain medication can be linked to a handful of physicians. The Times examined 3,733 prescription drug related deaths that took place between 2006 and 2011 in the counties of Orange, San Diego, Los Angeles and Ventura. It was revealed that 1,762 cases resulted from overdosing on medications that had been prescribed by doctors. A total of 71 doctors were found to have prescribed drugs to at least 3 patients who died from overdose and addiction. Five doctors had prescribed medications to 10…

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Maine Doctors Requesting Drug Tests before Writing Prescriptions

Doctors in the state of Maine have begun to ask patients to submit to random drug tests in exchange for prescriptions for controlled drugs. The tests help doctors determine if patients are taking their prescription drugs or selling them on the black market. Drug tests also allow doctors to determine if patients are taking other drugs. Patients who refuse drug tests could be refused prescriptions. The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine recommends that physicians enter into contract agreements that include random drug tests with patients who receive multiple new prescriptions or renewals for controlled drugs. According to Gordon Smith, vice president of the Maine Medical Association, a prescription drug contract between doctor and patient and random drug testing for patients will encourage more conversations about the potential for addiction. Maine - Surprisingly Vulnerable to Opiate Addiction Random drug testing is the latest weapon being used to fight Maine's high rate of prescription drug abuse. The per-capita rate of addiction to opiate drugs in Maine is the highest in…

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Signs that Your Spouse or Partner is Abusing Prescription Drugs

If your spouse or partner has begun to seem like a stranger and you know that they've been taking prescription drugs, they may be struggling with drug dependency. Many people who don't fit the stereotype of a typical drug addict—responsible people with good jobs and loving family and friends—are becoming dependent on painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin or anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Valium. In most cases, they begin taking prescription drugs for legitimate medical reasons including back injuries, car accidents, arthritis, depression or trauma. They unsuspectingly then develop a physical dependence.   A Medical System that Has Inevitable Addiction Consequences With prescription drug abuse at epidemic levels across the nation, many educated people with successful lives are becoming addicted to opiate drugs prescribed for pain and benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety. These medications are often prescribed by physicians who don't provide their patients with adequate warnings about the danger of addiction. Other physicians write willingly prescriptions at the request of self-medicating patients who use prescription drugs to escape from…

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Prescription Pads Play a Key Role in Drug Abuse

For decades, the small pads of paper used to write prescriptions have been an iconic part of every doctor's office. Now these seemingly innocent tablets are assuming a more sinister role. According to drug enforcement officials, stolen and forged prescription pads are at the heart of the current epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  In some recent cases, such as that of Dr. Lisa Barden of Rancho Cucamonga, doctors have stolen prescription pads from other doctors and used them to obtain highly addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. In other cases, pads are printed by counterfeiters. Many law enforcement officials and lawmakers see paper prescriptions as an old fashioned mechanism that encourages fraud. Prescription pads are in high demand on the black market; law enforcement officials report that drug dealers will pay up to $400 for a stolen prescription drug pad. Up until seven years ago, California required doctors to create triple copies of prescriptions. That requirement was dropped when "tamper-proof" forms were introduced, but criminals soon found ways to…

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Prescription Meds Increasingly Prescribed

At the root of the Prescription Drug Abuse epidemic is the reckless prescription of the drugs themselves. A couple of shocking statistics that we have shared here but bear repeating: Purdue Pharmaceuticals revenue for OxyContin alone in 2010 was:  $ 3,084,262,027.00 Number of prescriptions written for Hydrocodone (Vicodin) in the U.S in 2010 was: 106,777,390 “According to recent estimates, Florida prescribes ten times more oxycodone pills than all other states combined. " (U.S. Attorney Wifredo A .Ferrer stated recently) The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world's population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids -- and 99 percent of the world's hydrocodone (the opiate that is in Vicodin) 1 in 5 U.S. adults taking meds for Psychological Disorders It's no wonder that practices like the above have led to rampant  prescription drug abuse in the United States. In order for changes to happen, policies must be changed. Awareness must be raised.  That is why StopOxy is here doing what we do.

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