Doctors Who Receive Freebies From Drug Companies Tend To Prescribe More Opioids
And the ones who didn't, cut back on their prescription practices. The freebies most often came in the form of meals. In other news on the crisis: the Justice Department is joining a kickback case; hospitals are experiencing an opioid shortage; Delaware officials are releasing strategies on combating the epidemic; and more.
Los Angeles Times:
Did Drug Company Payments To Doctors Help Fuel The Opioid Epidemic?
A new research letter reports that doctors who received free meals and other kinds of payments from pharmaceutical companies tended to prescribe more opioid painkillers to their patients over the course of a year. Meanwhile, doctors who didn’t get such freebies cut back on their opioid prescriptions. (Kaplan, 5/14)
U.S. Joins Whistleblower Case Against Insys Over Kickbacks
The U.S. Department of Justice has joined whistleblower litigation accusing Insys Therapeutics Inc of trying to generate more profit by paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe powerful opioid medications. The government's involvement was disclosed in a filing made public on Monday. It adds firepower to the civil litigation as Insys tries to resolve a federal probe into its marketing of Subsys, a spray form of fentanyl. (Raymond, 5/14)
In The Midst Of A Massive Opioid Crisis, Hospitals Are Experiencing An Opioid Shortage
Drug shortages are nothing new in U.S. hospitals. The American Society of Health System Pharmacists, or ASHP, has been monitoring shortages since 2000. ...But Joseph Hill, director of government relations for ASHP, said the shortages this year of injectable hydromorphone, fentanyl and morphine is actually kind of frightening. (Schachter, 5/14)
The Associated Press:
Delaware Officials Eye Response To Addiction Crisis
Delaware officials are set to release an initial report on how the state can best confront drug addiction. The report to be released Tuesday is the work of an advisory body tasked with assessing the problem and outlining a plan to address prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental health, substance use, and related disorders.The panel is developing both short-term and long-term strategies and initiatives to address the state’s major addiction and mental health challenges. (5/15)
Colorado Launches "Lift The Label" Campaign To End Stigma Around Opioid Addiction
Colorado launched a nearly $1.8 million public awareness campaign Monday aimed at ending the stigma around opioid addiction, with the hopes of encouraging more people to seek treatment. ... The “Lift the Label” campaign will include print, television and digital advertisements designed to educate the public about opioid dependency through stories of addiction and recovery in Colorado. They will “provide a message of hope from people who used to feel hopeless,” according to a news release. (Paul, 5/14)