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hydrocodone 35 articles

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

Thousands of Illegal Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed by Houston Clinic

After a Houston clinic owner and physician went to prison for writing thousands of fraudulent prescriptions for opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents shared with the press some of the clinic’s inner workings to demonstrate how insidious the opioid epidemic has become. Houston’s KPRC-TV featured the case of Gulfton Community Health Center, which ran an illegal opioid distribution operation that dispensed about 34,000 illegal prescriptions (about 2.1 million units of hydrocodone alone) to opioid addicts and dealers. DEA agent Wendell Campbell told KPRC that agents usually saw lines of 30-40 people at the doors of ... 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

DEA: Production of most opioids to be cut by one-quarter in 2017

The manufacturing of almost every schedule II opiate and opioid medication will be reduced by at least 25 percent in 2017, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Final Order published in the Federal Register. Some medications will be reduced even more, such as hydrocodone, which will be produced at 66 percent of last year’s level. The action is one more effort by the federal government to cut down on the growing problem of abuse of powerful opioid painkillers, which are the most abused and misused prescription medications on the market. The Aggregate Production Quota (APQ) system was put in place ... Read More

FDA releases guidelines for abuse-deterrent versions of opioids

Eighteen months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zogenix Inc.’s powerful opioid painkiller Zyhydro despite abuse concerns from consumer groups and lawmakers, the agency has finalized its guidance urging drug makers to devise abuse-deterrent versions of opioids as they move forward. The new formulations of opioids – some of which have already hit the market – are manufactured in a way that prevents them from being crushed and injected or snorted, which many of these painkillers are for a stronger, more intense high, contributing to the country’s prescription drug abuse epidemic. The FDA guidance informs drug makers of ... Read More

FDA approves new formulation of controversial opioid painkiller Zohydro

Drugmaker Zogenix Inc., received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a new formulation of its highly controversial painkiller Zohydro. The powerful opioid is designed to be more difficult to abuse, though the approval of the medication requires the drug maker to conduct studies to back up that claim. People who abuse opioids, in particular extended release versions, typically crush or dissolve them in liquid to be snorted or injected to produce a more intense high than simply swallowing the pills. Makers of opioid drugs, in an attempt to curb the growing prescription drug abuse and misuse epidemic, have begun ... Read More

New warnings added to label of potent painkiller Zohydro ER

Just months after the new potent painkiller Zohydro ER hit the market amid a slurry of controversy, a long list of new warnings including black box warnings, have been added to the opioid’s safety label. Zohydro, made by Zogenix, is the first pure hydrocodone to be approved in the United States. Hydrocodone is a potent opioid painkiller that is already marketed in combination with other painkillers such as with acetaminophen in the drug Vicodin. The FDA approved Zohydro under the premise that people with chronic pain need more treatment options. Also, the combination hydrocodone with acetaminophen puts patients at risk ... Read More

Anti-addiction groups call for FDA chief’s resignation amid prescription drug abuse epidemic

Frustrated by the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of potent opioid medications during a nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse, anti-addiction activists are calling for the resignation of the agency’s top official. More than a dozen groups have banded together and are appealing to the Obama administration to replace FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who has headed up the agency since 2009. Activists have been vocal about their disappointment with the agency for its approval of Zohydro, the only single-ingredient hydrocodone on the market. Hydrocodone is in a class of narcotics known as opioids, which are known for their euphoric effects. ... Read More

DEA introduces new drug take-back program to combat prescription drug abuse

A new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rule aims to combat a growing epidemic of prescription drug addiction and abuse by authorizing pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and others to serve as drop-off sites for unused prescription medications. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new regulation will help save lives and protect families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse. In 2011, unintentional prescription drug overdoses accounted for more than half of the 41,300 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Prescription opioids, which are increasingly prescribed for pain relief, are particularly addictive and likely to be abused. Opioid pain killer overdose caused ... Read More

FDA approves oxycodone combination drug that resists abuse

A powerful combination opioid painkiller whose euphoric effects can be rendered inactive if the drug is tampered with has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug’s formulation aligns with the agency’s commitment to combat the misuse and abuse of opioids. “The development of opioids that are harder to abuse is needed in order to help address the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the U.S.,” Dr. Sharon Hertz, deputy director of the division of anesthesia, analgesia, and addiction products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an news release. Targiniq ... Read More