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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Declining Opioid Prescription Rates Show That Drumbeat Of Alarm Over Crisis Is Producing Results

KHN Morning Briefing

But some advocates are now worried that patients with chronic pain are being undertreated. Meanwhile, NIH wants to conduct research on fentanyl, but the nationwide law-enforcement crackdown on opioid abuse means scientists are having a hard time getting permission to get samples of the illegal products they need to study. And the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on improving Medicaid, Medicare and other programs that cope with the effects of substance abuse.

Drugmakers Were Set To Team Up With NIH On Massive Opioid Study But Officials Are Pumping The Brakes

KHN Morning Briefing

In an abrupt shift, the National Institutes of Health said it won’t take money from the pharmaceutical industry, and will instead fund the study exclusively through taxpayer dollars. In other news on the crisis: a look at the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps, a 6,500-strong group of health experts fighting the epidemic; how the surgeon general’s advice for Americans to carry naloxone will play out; more states are taking the fight against drugmakers to the courts; and more.

Opioid-Addiction Advocate Patrick Kennedy Stands To Reap Profits From Congress’ Newly Opened Wallet

KHN Morning Briefing

Patrick Kennedy has met regularly with his former congressional colleagues to advocate for higher levels of spending to combat the opioid crisis. But he also has a financial stake in groups that will benefit from that increase in funding. Media outlets report on news on the epidemic out of West Virginia, Massachusetts, Colorado, Florida, Maryland and Wisconsin, as well.

A Vaccine For Opioid Addiction? It Might Not Be That Far Off

KHN Morning Briefing

The vaccine would stop opioids by effectively blocking them from reaching the brain by way of the circulatory system. It is one suggestion in a renewed push to treat addiction like a disease rather than a lack of willpower or character flaw.