Getting Drugs To Treat Addiction Harder Than Getting The Drugs To Feed It
A shortage of doctors able to prescribe anti-addiction medications means those who need help are struggling to get it. In other news, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill targeting the state's opioid crisis into law.
The Washington Post:
Getting Painkillers Seems Easy. Getting Help To Fight Painkiller Addiction Is Hard.
Addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has grown so deadly that the Obama administration wants to spend more than $1 billion over the next two years fighting it. Nearly all of the money would go to making anti-addiction medications, including buprenorphine, more available. Yet in the midst of the worst epidemic of unintentional drug overdose in U.S. history — mortality rates are four to fives times as high as in the mid-1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — it can be harder to get drugs to treat an addiction than it is to get the drugs that feed it. (Vestal, 3/14)
The Associated Press:
Massachusetts Governor Chokes Up At Painkiller Bill Signing
An emotional Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday signed what he called the most comprehensive law in the nation to combat an opioid addiction scourge, including a seven-day limit on first-time prescriptions for opiate painkillers. The Republican governor struggled to maintain his composure while recalling families he had met — some standing behind him at the Statehouse ceremony — who had lost loved ones to a "deadly, merciless epidemic" and others who were desperately seeking help for a family member. (3/14)
Baker Signs Compromise Opioid Bill Into Law
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed into law a compromise bill that seeks to alleviate the state’s opioid crisis. The Republican governor signed the legislation Monday morning at the State House, surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and various health and public safety officials. The Democratic-led state House and Senate both unanimously passed the measure last week. (3/14)
Meanwhile, STAT wants court records unsealed so it can look at how OxyContin was marketed —
STAT Goes To Court To Unseal Records Of OxyContin Maker
STAT is asking a Kentucky court to make public sealed documents that could provide new information on how Purdue Pharma marketed its potent pain pill OxyContin — including what top executives knew about how addictive it was, and whether they downplayed the risks. (Armstrong, 3/15)