Opioid Panel Member Slams Inaction Over Epidemic: Government Is Just ‘Reshuffling Chairs On The Titanic’
Former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who serves on the president's bipartisan opioid commission, criticizes Washington's unwillingness to put money behind the efforts to fight the crisis: "You can't expect to stem the tide of a public health crisis that is claiming over 64,000 lives per year without putting your money where your mouth is."
Opioid Commission Member: Our Work Is A 'Sham'
The Republican-led Congress has turned the work of the president's opioid commission into a "charade" and a "sham," a member of the panel told CNN. "Everyone is willing to tolerate the intolerable -- and not do anything about it," said former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who was one of six members appointed to the bipartisan commission in March. "I'm as cynical as I've ever been about this stuff." (Drash, 1/23)
In other news on the epidemic —
Walsh Exploring Litigation Against Pharmaceutical Companies For Opioid Crisis
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Monday he is considering litigation against several pharmaceutical companies, saying they “irresponsibly saturated the market with opiates, knowingly putting consumers at risk for addiction.” In a statement, Walsh said he will seek information from “law firms, researchers and other interested parties” on potential opioid litigation. (Schick, 1/22)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Broadview Heights Joins Litigation Against Drug Makers And Distributors Over Opioid Epidemic
U.S. District Judge Dan Polster is presiding over more than 200 lawsuits - filed by governmental entities in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Washington and West Virginia - blaming drug manufacturers and distributors for the opioid crisis. ...The lawsuits say that drug makers overstated the benefits and downplayed the risks of using opioids, and that distributors failed to monitor suspicious orders of prescription opiates. (Sandrick, 1/22)
Hospitals Cut Back On Opioids To Battle Addiction Epidemic
Many hospitals are now moving to alternative methods of treating pain. Some doctors say less potent medications can handle pain equally well — and that patients are coming to share that view. In the past six months, Rush University Medical Center has given post-surgical patients Tylenol, Motrin and gabapentin, a medication used for nerve pain. A mild opioid is used just for intermittent pain spikes. (Keilman, 1/23)