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opioid overdose 4 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

Study finds increase in number of people prescribed opioids with benzos

The number of patients taking powerful opioid painkillers along with anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines increased significantly from 2001 to 2013, according to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal. The findings come just months after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it was adding boxed warnings to the safety labels of both drugs as well as prescription cough medicines regarding serious side effects such as slowed or difficult breathing and deaths when the drugs are combined. Boxed warnings, also called black box warnings, are the strongest warning the FDA can give and are reserved for medications and medical ... Read More

Medical examiner confirms Prince died from opioid overdose

The musician Prince died April 21 from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, according to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office. The news comes as the federal government and Congress are stepping up efforts to curb the growing prescription drug epidemic in the US. Fentanyl is prescribed to treat persistent moderate to severe pain, most often in cancer patients, who are already on continuous opioid therapy. The drug is already blamed for a sharp increase in overdose deaths. Fentanyl is 25-25 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement ... Read More

Groups request findings from opioid investigation be released

Findings from a 2012 investigation into makers of powerful painkillers and their relationship with organizations that promote the use of those drugs should be made public in an ongoing effort to curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Thirty-six entities made up of physician groups, addiction agencies and consumer advocacy organizations have signed a letter to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee asking it to release the data from the three-year-old investigation. The probe was prompted by concerns that drug companies and the organizations they fund may be aggravating the nation’s prescription drug addition and overdose problem by promoting misleading information about ... Read More