Death Certificate Project Charges 9 CA Doctors With Opioid Overprescribing

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In California, nine doctors have been charged with overprescribing opioids along with other violations after a years-long investigation into their prescribing habits by a controversial state project. Dubbed the “Death Certificate Project,” the state scans death certificates to find people whose death was caused by prescription drugs such as opioids or benzos. The state then finds out what doctors prescribed a controlled substance to that patient within three years of death. (The doctors may not have been the current provider of prescriptions at the time of death, however.)

After implementing the highly controversial “Death Certificate Project,” California officials have charged nine doctors with overprescribing opioids. The state’s prescription drug database, CURES (California Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System), flagged the doctors for investigation alongside hundreds of their peers who were presumably cleared from trouble. In the complaints, the Project’s …

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Oxycontin Manufacturer Helped Write the Laws it Claims Justify Marketing

Mired in lawsuits, Oxycontin manufacturer Perdue Pharma is quick to deflect blame when it comes to the opioid crisis. Marketing tactics such as paying doctors to do little more than discuss the drug with their colleagues and pushing the drug to ER physicians were all legal, according to the company. But is this reality, or are these the pleadings of a company that is watching its ship sink?

The truth is more complicated than that; it turns out. The FDA and Purdue Pharma have a close relationship, although until recently, the FDA may not have realized it. Purdue Pharma operatives were consulted when the FDA created policies that affect the entire nation, often getting the government agency to agree to policies and procedures that limit the manufacturer’s liability. However, the FDA officials didn’t realize that Perdue was paying the people …

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Making Oxycontin Harder to Abuse Led to Heroin OD’s

Have you ever wondered how heroin became such a prominent drug in the past few years? In 2010, Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, were under a lot of pressure from various stakeholders. The popular drug, used for anything from pain for an acute injury to long-term chronic pain like cancer, had proven more addictive than they anticipated. By the 2000’s, it was clear that something had gone awry. People were crushing pills and snorting or shooting them up. So they decided to make Oxycontin more difficult to abuse by reformulating the medicine. By making the pills difficult to crush and more extended-release, people wouldn’t be able to abuse them.

While this was a logical step to take, especially from the drug manufacturer’s perspective, the damage had already been done for many people. Thousands were already misusing the pill, and …

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Is OxyContin Still King?

There are growing signs around the country that the abuse of OxyContin is diminishing. The drug is being bypassed during pharmacy robberies in favor of Opana, methadone and other narcotic drugs, and some hospital emergency rooms are reporting a decrease in OxyContin overdoses.

According to Forbes, the Journal of Pain and other publications, the introduction of a new tamper-resistant form of OxyContin in 2010 seems to be responsible for a decrease in abuse of the drug. Drug addicts previously crushed OxyContin pills to circumvent the drugs time-release mechanism and experience the full impact of the drug in one rush. Instead of allowing drug abusers to crush the pill for snorting or injection, the new OxyContin turns into a gummy mush when tampered with.

Unfortunately, the reformulation of OxyContin does not appear to be leading to an overall drop in drug

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Mayor Bloomberg Limits Painkiller Use in NY Hospitals

In response to a citywide and national epidemic of prescription drug abuse, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has instituted a policy in New York City that will restrict the use of prescription painkillers in the city’s public hospitals. The policy, which will affect the distribution of prescription drugs from hospital emergency rooms, could set a model for hospitals across the nation.

Under Bloomberg’s new policy, emergency room patients will only be given three days worth of narcotic drugs like Percocet and Vicodin. Oxycontin, which has been shown to be one of the most addictive painkillers, will not be distributed at all from 11 public emergency rooms. This is also true of methadone and Fentanyl patches. Emergency rooms also will not fill painkiller prescriptions that are reported to have been stolen, lost or destroyed.

One of the goals of the new policy is …

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Drug Ring Salvages OxyContin and Vicodin Pills from Medical Waste Company

The demand for narcotic prescription drugs is so high that drug dealers will go to almost any length to get their hands on drugs to sell. A San Diego drug ring took this to an extreme by intercepting thousands of pills that were slated to be destroyed and selling them on the black market.

 

Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested John Bonavita and two employees of Enserv West LLC, a medical waste disposal firm. The employees diverted pills that were slated to be destroyed to Bonavita, who sold them to other dealers. As part of a plea agreement, Bonavita admitted to purchasing and reselling 13,000 hydrocodone tablets (a pain medication that’s sold under the brand name Vicodin), 900 oxycodone tablets (another painkiller sold under the name OxyContin), 111 methadone tablets and 350 morphine tablets.

 

The drug…
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Opana Overtaking OxyContin as Most Abused Painkiller

Fort Wayne, Indiana, a medium-sized city of 200,000, has experienced more than a dozen pharmacy robberies since the beginning of 2012. In almost every case, the robbers were after a powerful prescription painkiller named Opana. Less well-known than OxyContin, Opana is the brand name for oxymorphone. Like OxyContin, Opana is an opiate medication that carries a high risk of abuse, dependency and overdose. Unlike OxyContin, Opana is still available in an extended-release formula that appeals to abusers who are seeking a more intense high. According to drug enforcement experts, the rising popularity of Opana can be attributed to a change made to OxyContin that makes pills harder to crush for snorting or dissolve for injecting. Individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs have a tendency to adapt according the drug availability and many are now turning to Opana to feed…
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Doctors Petition for New Prescription Painkiller Rules to Limit Abuse

In an effort to protect the public from prescription drug abuse, a group of 37 doctors and public health officials have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change the prescription guidelines for opioid painkillers.

They have asked the FDA to change the labeling for drugs like OxyContin and Opana, prohibiting use of the drugs for treatment of moderate pain, adding a maximum daily dosage and specifying that patients should only take them for 90 days if not under treatment for cancer-related pain.

By changing the labels of these prescription drugs, the group hopes to limit promotion of the drugs for non-approved uses by drug makers like Purdue Pharma, Pfizer and Endo Health Solutions. OxyContin and Opana, which are both extended-release painkillers, are marketed by Purdue Pharma and Endo Health for the treatment of moderate pain to severe pain.…
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Is OxyNEO Just An Invention to Maximize Profits

Canadians have been drastically affected by OxyContin just as citizens the United States have. The instances of addiction, overdose, and heroin use are off the charts since opiate drugs have exploded in popularity.  The announcement of “harder to abuse” OxyNEO from Purdue Pharma seemed like promising news but there are skeptics.

In a recent article in the Canadian new source theStar.com, the question is raised whether or not OxyNEO is really just a timely invention due to OxyContin patent protection expiring.

The article argues that Purdue Pharma was threatened by the inevitable OxyContin generics that would be coming to market since the patent for the OxyContin drug would have expired in November.  Now, the companies who were already in development of “generic” OxyContin face an unsure future as gneric versions of the drug may or may not be allowed to …

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The Seth Foundation – Teenage Heroin Advocacy

We haven’t given proper coverage to the powerful website/advocacy group that was started by the bereaved family of Seth Norcutt.

Website: http://www.thesethfoundation.org

Seth’s story is a ‘must read’  because it is written in a very compelling and moving manner – go straight to that page here.  Seth was like many of those that contact us, he struggled with addiction after experimenting recreationally and getting hooked.  Seth was from the San Diego, California area.

Seth ended up dying of a heroin overdose, but as it says in the story:

Seth first started with simple over-the-counter medications like soma and vicodin and progressed to oxycontin. Why not, at $5 a pill, and readily available at school and from his friends, they were easy. No mess, nothing to hide, and the “Narc’s” at school would never know. That was less than two

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