Tagged Articles

fentanyl 34 articles

Too much off-label prescribing of potent fentanyl, study finds

Nearly half of the patients prescribed high potent transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl (TIRF) reserved to treat breakthrough pain in cancer patients already on round-the-clock opioid therapy, were given the drugs off-label. Yet, when this evidence surfaced, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dragged its feet on addressing the problem. And when it did, the agency only made a “few substantive changes” to its Risk Evaluation Mitigation Strategy (REMS), according to a study published in JAMA. The REMS for TIRF drugs was approved by the FDA on Dec. 28, 2011, because the medications were very potent and there was a high risk ... Read More

Opioids, benzos and stimulants the cause of most drug overdose deaths

Drug overdose deaths jumped a whopping 54 percent – to 63,632 – in the United States from 2011 to 2016, and opioids, benzodiazepines (benzos), and stimulants were the drugs most often to blame, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in the wake of the opioid epidemic. The opioid oxycodone, known by the brand name OxyContin, was the most cited drug on death certificates in 2011. But the illegal opioid heroin took the lead for the subsequent years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 21 to ... Read More

Nevada Cardiologist Pleads Guilty to Opioid Prescription Fraud

A Nevada cardiologist charged with widespread opioid and health care fraud pleaded guilty on Nov. 26 to one charge of illegal distribution of a controlled substance, federal authorities announced. Dr. Devendra Patel, 59, was the first physician in the state to face criminal drug distribution charges under a federal push to clamp down on opioid “pill mill” clinics and the doctors who run them. The government has stepped up efforts to beat back the rising tide of opioid addiction and death, which former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the “worst drug crisis in American history.” Dr. Patel, who ran ... Read More

U.S. Injects $320 Million into Fighting Opioid Crisis

The U.S. government is expanding its fight against the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction by dumping nearly $320 million in programs and causes it believes will beat back the drug crisis. The U.S. Department of Justice made its announcement on the first day of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, saying the “unprecedented funding will directly help those most impacted by the deadliest drug crisis in American history, including crime victims, children, families and first responders.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the giant investment will fund prevention efforts, treatment and enforcement – the three aspects of the opioid crisis on ... Read More

Aetna’s Opioid Fraud Lawsuit Against Insys Allowed to Stand

Insys Therapeutics must face a lawsuit filed by Aetna accusing the drug company of duping the health care insurance corporation into paying claims for Subsys prescriptions when the potent opioid painkiller was prescribed for unapproved, off-label purposes. U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe in Philadelphia refused to toss Aetna’s complaint in an Aug. 23 ruling. The lawsuit against Insys is one of several similar lawsuits filed by health insurers who accuse the drug maker of defrauding them into paying for Subsys prescriptions that were not just inappropriate but dangerous. Insys manufactured Subsys, the brand name for fentanyl, as a last-resort opioid ... Read More

Prison staff, inmates in OH, PA sickened by ‘unknown substance’

Dozens of correctional officers, nurses, and inmates at correctional institutions in Pennsylvania and Ohio have fallen ill by an unknown substance believed to be the highly potent opioid fentanyl. Wednesday, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced an immediate lockdown of all state correctional institutions after receiving reports of multiple staff sickened in the past few weeks. “Our state prisons, especially those in the western part of the state, have experienced recent incidents in which employees have been sickened and we need to get to the bottom of this issue now,” he said. Wetzel ordered for an immediate lockdown ... Read More

Feds Aim To Slash Opioid Production Again in 2019

From opioid production to prescription, fraud has played a key role in the opioid crisis sweeping the United States. Federal authorities have taken measures in recent years to quell the growing problem, including pursuing legal action against doctors, pharmacies, and distributors who for years have unlawfully pedaled prescription opioids for years with impunity. But on Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department announced it plans to further strike at the root of the crisis by reducing the supply of opioids, a measure that would involve limiting the amount of opioid painkillers pharmaceutical companies can manufacture next year by about 10 percent. The ... Read More

U.S. Fights Opioid Epidemic With New Newark/Philadelphia Strike Force

The federal government is expanding its efforts to combat the nation’s opioid crisis and health care fraud with a new regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force operation for the Newark and Philadelphia areas. The Newark/Philadelphia Medicare Strike Force location is the tenth region-specific operation. All of the Strike Force locations monitor health care activity in a specific region for fraud affecting government health care programs. The growing crisis of opioid abuse and addiction has not just harmed tens of thousands of individuals and their families across the U.S., it has also taken its toll on the Medicare program, which loses billions ... Read More

Fentanyl used in death row inmate execution in Nebraska

The state of Nebraska not only carried out its first execution in 21 years, it also was the first death sentence in the country to be carried out using the potent opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid and the most common drug involved in fatal overdoses in the United States, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is typically used to treat severe pain after surgery and chronic pain in patients who are physically tolerant to other opioids. Fentanyl misuse and abuse is a ... Read More

West Virginia’s Opioid Crisis The Focus of Congressional Investigation

The opioid epidemic in West Virginia is a focus of a Congressional investigation seeking to determine why three major opioid distributors flooded the state with more than 780 million hydrocodone and oxycontin painkillers in a recent six-year period – about 433 opioid pills for every West Virginia resident. According to The (Huntington, West Virginia) Herald-Dispatch, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce had mailed inquiries to drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen looking for answers about their involvement in opioid pill dumping in the state. The inquiries, which The Herald-Dispatch says present more than 70 questions and 40 ... Read More