Physicians are being encouraged to curtail prescribing of powerful narcotics in response to the nation’s opioid crisis. So some patients who need relief from pain due to chronic conditions, trauma, or post-surgical recovery are turning to over-the-counter options. But just because they’re sold at your local drug store doesn’t mean OTC drugs are completely safe either. Continue reading
What happens when the medical board of a major state begins reviewing fatal opioid overdoses with an eye to disciplining physicians who wrote the prescriptions?
According to this “How I Did It piece” from Cheryl Clark, depending on the perspective, it’s either a witch hunt, upending practices of physicians who legitimately tried to help patients manage pain, or a much-needed action to protect consumers from inappropriate, and perhaps deadly, prescribing. Continue reading
Nearly a third of older adults have received a prescription for an opioid pain medicine in the past two years, but many didn’t get enough counseling about the risks of the drug, how to reduce their use, when to switch to a non-opioid option, or what to do with leftover pills, a new poll finds.
Researchers from the University of Michigan found that three-quarters of older adults surveyed said they would support prescribing limits by doctors and other efforts to limit exposure that could possibly help combat the national crisis surrounding opioid misuse, especially due to diversion. Continue reading
Potentially deadly Clostridium difficile (C. diff), which sickened an estimated half million Americans one recent year, has gained notoriety as a hospital-acquired infection.
Patients who have taken antibiotics face an elevated risk of acquiring the diarrheal disease, and the majority of infections occur in health care facilities, research has shown. Continue reading
Six years ago, a clinic in Oregon made the decision to ban representatives from the pharmaceutical companies. The doctors and staff say goodbye to free samples of expensive drugs, lavish lunches, pens, notebooks, mugs, toys for children and other “benefits.”
Markian Hawryluk, a health reporter with The Bend (Ore.) Bulletin, picked up on a recent journal article about the transformation and used that as his inspiration to write about how the clinic made its decision and how it changed the way doctors there practice medicine, as well as how the move impacted the community.
As data is collected under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, a part of the Affordable Care Act that will require pharmaceutical companies to disclose the money and gifts given to physicians, reporters may start noting similar changes in their area.
Read more about how Hawryluk reported the story and what he learned about the influence drug reps and samples have on prescribing.