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Painkiller News

Health insurance policies steer patients to older, more addictive opioid drugs, study suggests

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Lawsuits filed on behalf of opioid patients who suffered an overdose have focused attention on the role that drug companies and doctors have played in the U.S. opioid epidemic. But state and federal officials have started turning their attention to another group that has contributed to the opioid crisis – health insurance companies. (more…)

More than half of US opioid prescriptions written for patients with mood disorders, study finds

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

A new study finds that more than half of all opioid painkiller prescriptions in the U.S. are issued to patients with anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. Researchers say that patients with mood disorders face an increased risk of abusing opioid drugs, but were still prescribed these medications in the U.S. at a higher rate than the general population. (more…)

One in five patients who receive 10-day painkiller prescription become long-term users, study finds

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

A new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that one in five patients who are prescribed a 10-day supply of opioid painkillers will use the drugs for a year or longer. This long-term use places opioid users at an increased risk of addiction or other complications caused by prescription opioids. (more…)

Wisconsin doctor faces malpractice lawsuit, criminal charges for opioid overprescription deaths

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

A Wisconsin doctor faces a lawsuit filed on behalf of four patients who died after being prescribed high-dose opioid painkillers. The lawsuit accuses Dr. Charles Szyman of fatally over-prescribing the opioid drugs to Heidi Buretta, Monica Debot, Mark Gagnon, and Alan Eggert while they were being treated at Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. (more…)

Americans use more opioid painkillers than any country in the world, U.N. report finds

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

A United Nations study on the frequency of opioid painkiller use worldwide shows that Americans are prescribed far more opioid medications than any other country in the world. The U.S. has continued to outpace the other top 25 countries in opioid use despite recent efforts to reduce the availability of opioid medications in this country. (more…)

Lawsuits against painkiller manufacturers filed across U.S. in response to opioid epidemic

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Cities and towns across the country have been devastated by the health consequences of America’s opioid epidemic. Now some of those towns – many of them in rural areas – are fighting back with lawsuits filed against drugmakers that aggressively promoted the opioid medications that helped to fuel the opioid crisis. (more…)

Opioid epidemic fueling sharp increase in drug-dependent newborns, study reports

Friday, December 16th, 2016

The increased use of opioid painkillers by pregnant women has led to a drastic increase in the number of drug-dependent newborns in the U.S., a recent study has found. According to the report published in JAMA Pediatrics, the high number of drug-dependent newborns born in the U.S. is straining hospital resources, especially in rural areas where opioid abuse is increasingly common. (more…)

More Americans use opioid painkillers than tobacco products, federal study finds

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

More Americans used opioid painkillers in the last year than tobacco products, a recent federal study has found. The results of the study, released by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, highlight the continuing danger that the epidemic of opioid painkiller overprescription poses for U.S. patients. (more…)

DEA announces lower 2017 opioid painkillers production quotas in response to abuse, overdose epidemic

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced that it will reduce its 2017 quota for the production of opioid painkillers by 25%. The DEA said that it was cutting the supply of prescription painkillers in the U.S. in response to the epidemic of opioid abuse, addiction, and overdoses that have plagued the country over the last two decades. (more…)

FDA issues warning about combined drug overdose risk for opioid painkillers and benzodiazepine anxiety medications

Monday, September 26th, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration recently warned that the use of opioid painkillers in combination with a class of anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines may put patients at risk of a potentially fatal combined drug overdose. As a result of these health risks, the FDA ordered the manufacturers of hundreds of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other drugs to issue a new warning about the overdose risks of these medications. (more…)