Public Health Perspectives: Treating Opioid Addiction; How The Cures Act Changes The FDA’s Stamp Of Approval
Opinion writers explore issues related to public health and health care quality.
We Know How To Treat Opioid Addiction
When I was 22 years old, I was treated for an addiction to opioids. In the five years since, I wake up each morning and scan my news filters to read about some of the 78 people who die each day from overdose. Which depressed Rust Belt city was hit today? (Zachary Siegal, 11/30)
What The Surgeon General Gets Wrong About Addiction
The U.S. Surgeon General's new report, "Facing Addiction in America," is the first time the office has explicitly addressed addiction to illicit drugs. With the epidemic of addiction to drugs from Vicodin to heroin raging across the country, the report is timely. But although the report provides a solid summary of established findings, the Surgeon General perpetuates key misconceptions that have come to dominate the field of addiction. These views, frequently repeated but infrequently scrutinized, bear critical implications for how we treat addiction. (Sally Satel, 11/30)
21st Century Cures Act Will Distort The Meaning Of 'FDA Approved'
The term “FDA approved” means a lot to those of us working in health care and the patients we treat. But if the 21st Century Cures Act becomes law — the House of Representatives approved it Wednesday and the Senate will vote on it next week — this mark of trustworthy stewardship will become a shadow of its former self. Working in medicine and public health in Baltimore, we are witnesses to patients’ distrust of the health care system and the numerous barriers they face to quality, affordable care. We rely on the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that the treatments we provide are both safe and effective. Our patients have also placed their trust in this agency through us as their prescribers. (Reshma Ramachandran and Zackary Berger, 12/1)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Planned Parenthood's Lawsuit To Expand Abortion Rights Is Gutsy Move
Planned Parenthood made a gutsy move in the current political environment by stepping forward Wednesday with a court challenge seeking to overturn two highly restrictive Missouri laws on abortion. The organization is standing up for women’s constitutional right to choose, despite the Nov. 8 election results that suggest the state’s Legislature and governor have a strengthened hand to further restrict access to abortion services. (11/30)
Column: Will Patients Die?
We all agree that our health care programs are in crisis. We need changes; but who is to make these changes? First, doctors must take back the practice of medicine from the administrators and government agencies that are populated by profiteers, or their representatives. Too many investors are up to their elbows in this medical pie. (James Baker, 11/30)