prescription drugs

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and state Health Commissioner Harry Chen recently announced proposed changes to the Health Department’s rules that would severely restrict the prescribing of opioids for pain. Much of the outgoing governor’s tenure has been devoted to countering the heroin and opioid crisis.

NYS Senator Issues A Challenge For Drug Take-Back Day

Oct 22, 2016

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and there are more than 5,000 collection sites nationwide. As part of the effort, a New York state lawmaker in the Hudson Valley has issued a challenge.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand brought her campaign to fight the scourge of opioid addiction and death to the City of Newburgh on Friday where she announced new legislation that will target the epidemic at one of its key sources: opioid pain medication prescriptions.

Congressman Peter Welch
http://www.welch.house.gov/about-peter/

  Prescription drugs: they can be a constant source of worry for many Americans.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch talks about some possible solutions with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Bill Owens: Obamacare Versus Drug Costs

Oct 13, 2015

The national media has reported on Turing Pharmaceuticals’ 5,000 percent price increase for Daraprim, a treatment for toxoplasmosis. There are numerous other pharmaceutical companies who have taken control of a drug and dramatically increased the price. After reading those stories and reflecting on comments made to me by a close friend and local pharmacist, I asked him to show me examples of price increases that he has seen in the last several years. He provided five examples reflecting the following dramatic price increases: Colchicine went from $18 per 1,000 to $578; Digoxin went from $0.88 per 100 to $78; Carac cream went from $402 for 30 grams to $2,425; Levothyroxine ( a generic) went from $12 to $48 in six months; and Tasmar (100 mg), selling for $165.50 per hundred in 1998, increased to $4,525 in 2014, and then to $9,895 in 2015.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

New York legislators want to postpone until next year the deadline for doctors to issue only electronic drug prescriptions, saying many still lack needed federal approval. The bill has passed the state Senate and the Assembly Health Committee.

Assemblyman John McDonald, sponsor and practicing pharmacist, says he expects the full Assembly to pass it in two weeks.

The electronic prescriptions — connected to a central database that doctors and pharmacists can check — are intended to prevent fraud and doctor shopping for painkillers.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Over the weekend, Americans observed the eighth annual "National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day," an initiative to educate citizens about the potential abuse of medications that may be found around the home.  Residents are being encouraged to make the one-day drive an everyday occurrence. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Independent Democratic Conference, which controls the New York Senate with the Republicans, has released a list of proposals they say would lower the cost of living for seniors.

The conference on Wednesday proposed lowering the cost of prescription drugs, establishing an independent consumer advocate to help protect seniors from rising energy costs, enacting a Paid Family Leave plan for families to take care of their relatives, and freezing rent payments for middle-income seniors across the state, among other proposals.

A statewide coalition met today at the state capitol in Albany to call on New York lawmakers to take decisive action to combat the heroin and prescription drug epidemic through stronger prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts. The heroin epidemic is shaping up to be one of the greatest domestic threats of the young century. Not a day seems to go by when there isn't a headline involving the opioid. And something of a national conversation began when Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin devoted his entire state of the state address to heroin.

Sean Philpott: Drug Pushers

Oct 24, 2013

Like many academics -- and contrary to the image of college professors as lazy scholars that take sabbaticals every other year and have their summers off -- I about have four or five full-time jobs. I direct a graduate program in bioethics, teach six courses (including two summer courses), and supervise four students each year as they complete their Masters projects.

5/21/13 - Panel

May 21, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Dr. Jennifer Michaels of The Brien Center for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Mental Illness in the Family
Generation Rx
Marijuana: Panacea, Pleasure or Plague

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Patient advocates and representatives of the medical community in Massachusetts are submitting comments to the state Board of Public Health to address regulations that aim to curb prescription drug abuse.

Signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in 2012, An Act relative to prescription drug diversion, abuse and addiction, requires prescribers of pain killers to enroll in the state’s now-voluntary Prescription Monitoring Program upon renewal of their medical licenses. Currently about 1,700 prescribers in Massachusetts are enrolled in the program.

  

Vermont lawmakers are considering a bill — backed by law enforcement — to make people immune from prosecution on drug charges when they call 911 to report a friend is overdosing and in danger of death.

Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan, Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn and Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen say their hope is not to condone drug use, but to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths. There were 73 in Vermont in 2012.

Next week, Berkshire residents can safely dispose their old and unused prescription medications in a county-wide effort to reduce drug abuse and addiction. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

On Saturday, September 29th, officials and organizations throughout Berkshire County are cooperating in their sixth semi-annual drive to reduce and safely dispose unused prescription meds. Lois Daunis of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition says her organization is just one of the parties organizing and participating in the event.

The Massachusetts legislature is pushing to finalize a number of bills before the end of the formal session, including one that would strengthen the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…