Viewpoints: Essential Program In Managing Dementia Care; Biden’s Plan For Curbing Drug Overdoses
Editorial writers delve into these public health issues.
Los Angeles Times:
Is The U.S. Prepared For The Next Hospital Crisis?
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed devastating cracks in the foundation of U.S. healthcare. Hospitals were unprepared for enormous challenges to staffing, resulting from burnout and absences caused by the medical and psychological costs of the coronavirus. There is another emerging crisis that could catch us again unprepared and last for decades: hospital emergencies stemming from dementia. (Carmen Black, 11/10)
The Washington Post:
U.S. Overdose Deaths Are Soaring. Biden’s New Plan Could Help Ease The Crisis.
Nearly 100,000. “Every time I say or read that number, it shocks me again,” Stanford University addiction researcher Keith Humphreys said of the U.S. death toll from drug overdoses between March 2020 and March 2021. The number, 30 percent more than the previous 12-month period, is a record high — and yes, it should be shocking. Good then that the Biden administration is taking steps to ease a crisis that is shattering families and communities. (11/9)
The Wall Street Journal:
A Case Of Opioid Tort Abuse
The plaintiffs bar has assaulted too many industries to count, but the landmark opioid trial now underway in Ohio may be the worst. The combination of avaricious lawyers, a consolidated case system and a rogue judge is highlighting again the need for Congress and courts to crack down on legal abuse. Cleveland-based federal Judge Dan Aaron Polster opened proceedings in October in a trial in which two Ohio counties are seeking to hold pharmacy chains CVS, Walgreens and Walmart liable for the opioid epidemic. The counties say pharmacies ignored red flags when they filled opioid prescriptions and caused a “public nuisance.” (11/10)
Democrats' Drug Pricing Bill Will Distort Drug Development
After months of wrangling, Democratic lawmakers have agreed on a drug pricing bill. The House could vote on it within days. If it becomes law, we’re going to see some unfortunate consequences that legislators can’t possibly have intended. By ignoring what they may have thought were minor details, they’re about to distort the entire drug-development ecosystem to society’s detriment. (Peter Kolchinsky, 11/9)
The New York Times:
How To Alleviate The Crisis At Rikers
Fourteen people incarcerated in the New York City jail system have died since December 2020, at least six apparently by suicide. Overflowing toilets and mold plague the jails. A federal court-appointed monitor has issued increasingly scathing reports outlining profound mismanagement and rampant violence. Staffing shortages compound these problems. As of early October, around 30 percent of New York City correction officers were unavailable to work with incarcerated people. The officers who did show up were sometimes pressed into double or triple shifts. (Jonathan Lippman. 11/10)
Why Talking About The Diversity Of White Americans Promotes Health
Nationwide, there has been — and rightfully so — heightened attention to the disproportionate burden of health issues among communities of color and a renewed interest in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. However, many white patients and medical professionals feel misrepresented in the current debates on how best to promote care and representation. ( Dhrubajyoti Battacharya, 11/9)