A new study finds that for patients who went to the emergency room for things such as a sports injury or a fall can be served just as well with over-the-counter pain relievers. Experts have pointed to prescription practices in those scenarios as part of the cause of the opioid crisis. In other news, medical experts are the latest target of lawsuits over the epidemic.
Los Angeles Times: Over-The-Counter Painkillers Treated Painful Injuries Just As Well As Opioids In New Study
In an opioid epidemic that currently claims an average of 91 lives per day, there have been many paths to addiction. For some, it started with a fall or a sports injury, a trip to a nearby emergency room and a prescription for a narcotic pain reliever that seemed to work well in the ER. New research underscores how tragically risky — and unnecessary — such prescribing choices have been. (Healy, 11/7)
Stat: ‘This Is Just The Beginning’: Scope Of Opioid Lawsuits Widens To Include Hospital Accreditor
Now local officials in West Virginia — the state with the nation’s highest drug death rate — have taken aim at a different target: the medical experts who recommended their use. This past week the cities and towns of Huntington, Charleston, Kenova, and Ceredo filed a class-action lawsuit against the Joint Commission, the influential nonprofit that both inspects hospitals’ performance and sets practice standards for their physicians. Hospitals must abide by the group’s standards, on opioids or anything else, in order to get reimbursed for care provided to Medicaid and Medicare patients. (Blau, 11/7)
California Healthline: Taking A Page From Pharma’s Playbook To Fight The Opioid Crisis
Dr. Mary Meengs remembers the days, a couple of decades ago, when pharmaceutical salespeople would drop into her family practice in Chicago, eager to catch a moment between patients so they could pitch her a new drug. Now living in Humboldt County, Calif., Meengs is taking a page from the pharmaceutical industry’s playbook with an opposite goal in mind: to reduce the use of prescription painkillers. (Bartolone, 11/8)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 28 Wisconsin Counties Sue Prescription Drug-Makers To Recover Costs Of Fighting Opioid Epidemic
More than one-third of all Wisconsin counties sued several pharmaceutical drug-makers and physicians on Tuesday for fraudulent marketing of prescription painkillers that contributed to a nationwide public health crisis of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. (Behm, 11/7)
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