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Study examines Florida’s pill mill law, prescription drug monitoring program

Legislative efforts by the state of Florida to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion appear to be associated with modest decreases in opioid prescribing and use, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine. Prescription opioids provide necessary pain relief to millions of Americans but rates of opioid diversion, addiction and overdose deaths [...]

Are marketplace enrollees sicker than those with employer-sponsored insurance?

To date, little is known about the health status of the 7.3 million Americans who signed up for health insurance through either federal- or state-run exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One effective way to gain information is to examine their use of prescription drugs. A new study, being released by Health Affairs [...]

Frequent trips to ER are powerful predictor of death from prescription drug overdoses

With rates of prescription drug overdose at an all-time high, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that among individuals who visited the emergency department, the risk of subsequently dying from prescription drug overdose increased markedly based on how many times they visited the ER. Relative to patients with one or fewer [...]

Despite broad awareness, only half of doctors use prescription drug monitoring programs

Survey finds that usability barriers dampen participation yet nearly three-quarters who use state databases report prescribing fewer opioids In a new survey, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that physicians report relatively high awareness of state databases that track drug prescriptions but more than one-fifth indicated they were not aware [...]

Test aims to detect dangerous side effects so that fewer patients are given unsafe drugs

Because of undetected toxicity problems, about a third of prescription drugs approved in the U.S. are withdrawn from the market or require added warning labels limiting their use. An exceptionally sensitive toxicity test invented at the University of Utah could make it possible to uncover more of these dangerous side effects early in pharmaceutical development [...]