Oct. 31, 2012
Prescribe Opioids to Known Opioid Abusers
Prescription opioid abuse
is an epidemic in the United States. In 2010, there were reportedly as many as
2.4 million opioid abusers in this country, and the number of new abusers had
increased by 225% between 1992 and 2000.1 Sixty percent of the opioids that are
abused are obtained directly or indirectly through a physician's prescription.
In many instances, doctors are fully aware that their patients are abusing these
medications or diverting them to others for nonmedical use, but they prescribe
them anyway. Why? Recent changes in medicine's philosophy of pain treatment,
cultural trends in Americans' attitudes toward suffering, and financial
disincentives for treating addiction have contributed to this
Drug Recall, 29 Dead
A sister company of the
compounding pharmacy at the heart of the fungal meningitis outbreak that has now
claimed 29 lives is voluntarily recalling all its products.
The move is an "expansion
of our cooperation" with the FDA and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in
Pharmacy, Ameridose, of Westborough, Mass., said in a
The company, which shares
ownership with the New England Compounding Center, said it does not know of any
adverse reactions from its products and there has been no evidence of
impurities. Instead, the company said, the move is being undertaken out of of an
"abundance of caution."
Compounding Pharmacy Surrenders License
A second Massachusetts
compounding pharmacy surrendered its license after state inspectors found
"significant" issues that could affect sterility, state health officials
The pharmacy, Infusion
Resource, was also found to have a center for giving intravenous medications to
patients in violation of state regulations, which require a clinic license, Dr.
Madeleine Biondolillo, director of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality, said Sunday.
Outbreak Tests Physician Trust in Compounding Pharmacies
Michael F. Schafer, MD, a
Chicago orthopedic surgeon, gives about 100 epidural steroid injections a year
to help relieve back pain caused by conditions such as a herniated disk. So he
was taken aback when news surfaced of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak traced
to steroids produced by a compounding pharmacy.
Dr. Schafer checked the
source of the steroids he uses and found that they did not come from the drug
compounder in question, Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center.
His hospital, Northwestern Memorial, ordered the injectable methylprednisolone
acetate from Pfizer Inc., which markets the drug as Depo-Medrol and has had no
reported sterility lapses.
Advertising the Truth about Who's a Physician
One can hardly fault
patients for feeling confused - and more than a little cheated.
A billboard advertises the
house call services of a nurse practitioner by using the abbreviation "Dr."
before her name. A nonphysician introduces himself to a patient as a doctor
because he has a PhD in a field completely outside of medicine. Patients are
discharged from the hospital with follow-up care instructions for their primary
care physicians, only to find out at that point that the doctors aren't really
doctors at all.
These are some of the
documented examples of midlevel health professionals and other nonphysicians
misrepresenting themselves to patients, either directly or indirectly. They also
are compelling reasons why a dozen states have enacted legislation prohibiting
such misrepresentation. Now the rest of the states need to follow their
Unveils Plan to Overhaul Medicare Delivery
beneficiary choices, infrastructure investments and payments that reflect the
costs to physicians of providing services are the major principles the physician
community will use as guideposts as lawmakers look to transition to a new
Medicare delivery system. That's what the American Medical Association and other
organized medicine groups stated in an Oct. 15 letter to Congress.
The national and state
medical and specialty societies identified the core elements they will support
to move from the one-size-fits-all Medicare fee-for-service system to one
offering an array of options to seniors and physicians. The organizations also
reaffirmed their support for a repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula
used to help calculate Medicare physician pay rates. Congress has prevented SGR
cuts temporarily for the past decade, but physicians say the uncertainty created
by the unstable pay system has hurt practices and prevented improvements in
health care delivery.
How ACA repeal,
GOP Medicaid block grant plan could save $1.7T
The House Republican plan
to repeal President Barack Obama's health law and turn Medicaid into a block
grant program would save the federal government $1.7 trillion from 2013 to 2022,
a 38-percent spending reduction, according to a recent report by the Urban
Institute for the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It would also result in 31
million to 38 million fewer people getting Medicaid coverage in 2022, according
to the report. The entitlement program, which is jointly financed by the state
and federal governments, now provides health coverage to about 62 million poor
people, about half of whom are children.
Available for Evolution of Responsible Opioid Prescribing: Good, Bad, and
The Kentucky Society of Interventional Pain
Physicians designed this 1.5 day conference for physicians, nurses, and other
medical personnel involved.
Order the online
videos and receive 1.5 days of course video via the Internet. You can watch them
on your computer or any computer with Internet access. You will be given a
password to access the high quality streaming video of each day.
Designed to learn more about KASPER, the Pill Mill law,
pain management facility, guidance on using controlled substances, adherence
monitoring, documentation, and various board regulations.
in the Evolution of Responsible Opioid Prescribing: Good, Bad, and Ugly Course
should be able to apply the fundamental concepts of managing controlled
substances in your practice, from pharmacology and the clinical uses to
identifying abuse and the legal aspects of prescribing, for better outcomes and
reduced side effects.
To order course
on Medicaid Pay Hike
To recruit more doctors to
treat the poor, President Barack Obama's health law took a simple approach:
temporarily pay doctors more money.
Starting Jan. 1, primary
care doctors when treating patients on Medicaid, the state-federal health
insurance program for the poor, will get the same rates they are paid when
caring for seniors in the Medicare program. The higher rates will last for 2
Approves Pain Treatment for Cancer Patients
The Food and Drug
Administration has approved the ExAblate MRI-guided focused ultrasound therapy to treat patients with pain
from bone metastases.
The treatment, from InSightec, is designed to treat
patients who are unable to undergo radiation treatment for their pain. It is a
non-invasive, outpatient therapy and was approved for use in uterine fibroids
patients in 2004.
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Phone 270.554.9412, Fax 270.554.5394