KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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New Mexico Joins Growing Cadre Of States Suing Drugmakers Over Opioid Crisis

However, while many states are focusing on pharmaceutical companies alone, New Mexico is also going after distributors. Media outlets report on news about the epidemic out of Arizona, Florida and Ohio, as well.

The Wall Street Journal: New Mexico Sues Drugmakers, Distributors Over Opioid Crisis
New Mexico sued several major pharmaceutical companies and wholesale drug distributors on Thursday, arguing the corporations are partly to blame for rampant opioid addiction rates in the state. The lawsuit, filed in state court in Santa Fe County, follows the lead of half a dozen other states that have also sued over the opioid crisis. All claim pharmaceutical companies played down the addictive risk of the painkillers in their marketing to the public and doctors, causing them to be widely prescribed for chronic pain and fueling addiction. (Randazzo, 9/7)

Arizona Republic: Gov. Doug Ducey's Opioid Plan Seeks To Limit Initial Pain-Pill Fills
Arizona would limit all initial opioid prescriptions to five days for new patients under sweeping guidelines recommended Wednesday by Gov. Doug Ducey's administration. Dr. Cara Christ, director of the ADHS, said that the state recommended the five-day limit for initial opioid fills after reviewing other states' restrictions and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research. (Alltucker, 9/6)

Orlando Sentinel: Florida Medical Schools Developing Common Curriculum For Pain And Opioid Rx
Florida’s nine medical schools have formed a collaborative group to educate the next generation of doctors on opioid prescription and pain management. The Pain Management Working Group, which includes the state’s six public and three private medical schools, is developing a common curriculum to train the state’s more than 3,000 medical students, in hopes of graduating young doctors who can play a role in curbing the opioid epidemic. (Miller, 9/7)

The Plain Dealer: How State And Local Officials Report, Classify Overdose Deaths Lead To Conflicting Tallies
The number of deaths due to drug overdose continue to climb in Ohio, but exactly how many people are dying, and how many of these deaths are due to the escalating opioid epidemic, can be a little unclear. There are often variations in local, state and national numbers for causes of death because the reports come from multiple sources -- in Ohio, from 88 county coroners and medical examiner's offices, said Chris Kippes, Director of Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Informatics at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. (9/8)

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