In Denial About America’s Opioid Painkiller Problem? This Map Might Change Your Mind

In Denial About America’s Opioid Painkiller Problem? This Map Might Change Your Mind

If you think the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is being alarmist by urging primary care physicians to stop prescribing so many opioid painkillers, or that the fact that 10% of doctors are writing more than 50% of the prescriptions for opioids is not a concrete indicator of a problem, then perhaps this map of overdose deaths in the U.S. will help to drive the point home. [More]

Report: Makers Of OxyContin Knew For Decades That Pain Pills Could Wear Off Early

Report: Makers Of OxyContin Knew For Decades That Pain Pills Could Wear Off Early

When OxyContin hit pharmacies 20 years ago, its primary selling point was that a single dose of the opioid pain medication lasted 12 hours, “providing smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night,” per the press release. But a new report claims Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, have long known that the drug doesn’t always live up to this promise, resulting in an increased likelihood for abuse and addiction. [More]

(frankieleon)

5 Things We Learned About The $300 Billion Painkiller Industry

Relieving pain isn’t a simple issue of taking a pill and feeling better. It’s a complicated cornucopia of treatments ranging from over-the-counter remedies to holistic healing to prescription medications, with some $300 billion a year spent each year on painkillers in the U.S. alone.

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The Comedian

CDC Urges Primary Care Physicians To Stop Over-Prescribing Painkillers

Physicians in the U.S. write more than 250 million prescriptions a year for opioid painkillers — and that’s not including all the painkiller prescriptions written for patients with cancer or acute/chronic pain. That’s enough for every adult in the U.S. to have their own bottle of pills. Meanwhile, every day more than 40 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging primary care physicians — who prescribe about half of all opioids — to rethink how generous they are with their prescriptions. [More]

Eric Spiegel

Sketchy 10% Of Doctors Are Writing More Than 50% Of Painkiller Prescriptions

While most doctors try to honor their oath to do no harm, some physicians just want to be paid (or are really, really, just horrible at their jobs). Take, for example, the 1-in-10 doctors responsible for writing the majority of painkiller prescriptions. [More]

CVS Feels Pain Of $22 Million Penalty For Florida Painkiller Pill Mills

CVS Feels Pain Of $22 Million Penalty For Florida Painkiller Pill Mills

When you think of Florida and the Drug Enforcement Administration, your head might be filled with images of cocaine-packed speedboats or propeller planes sneaking in pallets of marijuana. But in recent years, the DEA has also been focused on major drugstore chains that looked the other way as stores filled massive numbers of questionable painkiller prescriptions. Nearly three years after shutting down a pair of CVS pharmacies in the Orlando area, the company has agreed to pay $22 million to put the matter behind them. [More]

CVS Being Investigated After 37,000 Pain Pills Go Missing

CVS Being Investigated After 37,000 Pain Pills Go Missing

The shelves of pharmacies are full of pills, tablets, capsules, and liquids that are worth a lot of money, especially to addicts. So when more than 37,000 prescription pain pills vanish from handful of CVS stores, the authorities get involved. [More]

Some Endocet Recalled For Having Double The Acetaminophen

Some Endocet Recalled For Having Double The Acetaminophen

Bottles of the pain-killing drug Endocet are being recalled because they erroneously contain 650 mg of acetaminophen while their label says 325 mg. While no injuries have been reported, consuming more acetaminophen than prescribed can lead to liver toxicity.

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Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

With the White House and the FDA dreaming up ways to curb the pain-pill problem in the U.S., we got to wondering just what are the most popular (legal) drugs in the country? Thankfully, the folks at Time.com were thinking about the same thing, because they put together a handy/dandy list of the 10 most-prescribed meds, none of which is Viagra.

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White House: Docs Need Training Before Prescribing OxyContin & Other Painkillers

White House: Docs Need Training Before Prescribing OxyContin & Other Painkillers

Too many doctors are writing unnecessary prescriptions for painkillers like OxyContin and fentanyl, says the White House. That’s why the administration is looking to push through legislation that would require training for physicians who wish to write prescriptions for these drugs.

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Burger King Employees Arrested For Putting Pills In Food

Burger King Employees Arrested For Putting Pills In Food

Two Burger King workers in Jacksonville, Florida have been arrested and charged with “poisoning food with intent to kill or injure a person,” reports WJXT. One customer took the bun off his fish sandwich to season it and found a blue pill smashed into mayo and lettuce. It turned out to be the painkiller hydrocodone.

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FDA May Take Vicodin And Percocet Off The Market

FDA May Take Vicodin And Percocet Off The Market

Bad news for Dr. Greg House and other, non-fictional chronic pain patients. The FDA advisory panel that met yesterday about the effects of excessive doses of acetaminophen made another recommendation to the FDA—to take popular painkillers Vicodin and Percocet (and their generic versions) off the market because of the effect both drugs can have on the liver when taken for extended periods. The FDA will most likely follow this recommendation.

FDA: Hey America, Stop Overdosing On Painkillers!

FDA: Hey America, Stop Overdosing On Painkillers!

Look, we know this recession is tough and all, but you’ve gotta lay off the NyQuil and Theraflu or the FDA will stuff them behind a counter, ok? Seriously, an advisory panel is meeting today, and already voted to reduce the maximum daily dose of Tylenol and other painkillers. They might even slap scary “black box” warnings on all over-the-counter painkillers to dissuade you acetaminophen addicts from overdosing.

Minorities Not Prescribed Opioids As Frequently As Whites

Minorities Not Prescribed Opioids As Frequently As Whites

If you’re black, Hispanic, or “Asian/other,” you might want to make sure your voice is heard loud and clear the next time you have to make a trip to the ER. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that over the past 13 years, white patients were prescribed powerful opioid painkillers 31% of the time, versus 23% for blacks, 24% for Hisanics, and 28% for Asians and “others.”