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What Does Florida's New Opioid Legislation Mean for Your Practice? Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 18:09

Responding to the spike in opioid-related overdoses and fatalities, the Florida Legislature has passed a bill (HB 21) that institutes limits on the prescribing of opioids, as well as increases funding for treatment. The new legislation mandates that most initial prescriptions would have a limit of three days for Schedule II painkillers such as Oxycontin and Fentanyl. However, physicians would be permitted to prescribe up to seven days for acute pain exceptions. Under the exception, the prescriber must "adequately document in the patient's medical records the acute medical condition and lack of alternative treatment options that justify deviation from the 3 day supply limit." There are no medication limits for trauma cases, chronic pain, cancer and palliative care. Physicians will be required to take a two-hour, board approved continuing medical education course on prescribing controlled substances. They, or staff members, also would be required to check with a statewide database before prescribing or dispensing these drugs.

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What are the drivers of the Cigna-Expres Scripts merger? Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 12 March 2018 17:39

Cigna's CEO cited altruistic motivations for the acquisition of Exprss Scripts. Industry insiders believe there is more than philanthropy in the latest healthcare merger announced Friday. Read more in the latest edition of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2018 17:48
Ten ERs In Colorado Tried To Curtail Opioids And Did Better Than Expected Print E-mail
Written by John Daley, Colorado Public Radio via KHN   
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 18:34

DENVER - One of the most common reasons patients head to an emergency room is pain. In response, doctors may try something simple at first, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If that wasn't effective, the second line of defense has been the big guns. "Percocet or Vicodin," explained ER doctor Peter Bakes of Swedish Medical Center, "medications that certainly have contributed to the rising opioid epidemic." Now, though, physicians are looking for alternatives to help cut opioid use and curtail potential abuse. Ten Colorado hospitals, including Swedish in Englewood, Colo., participated in a six-month pilot project designed to cut opioid use, the Colorado Opioid Safety Collaborative.

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AI Rifles and Future Shootings Print E-mail
Written by Bill Gardner | The Incidental Economist   
Friday, 23 February 2018 16:58

The scale and frequency of mass killings have been increasing, and this is likely to continue. One reason - but just one - is that weapons are always getting more lethal. One of the next technical innovations in small arms will be the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the aiming of weapons. There is no reason for civilians to have this technology and we should ban it now. By lethality, I mean how many people you can kill in a short period. Lethality depends on many factors, including the weapon's rate of fire, but not just that. Depending on the circumstances, a shooter with a highly accurate bolt-action rifle may be able to...

FDA Head Vows To Tackle High Drug Prices And Drugmakers 'Gaming The System' Print E-mail
Written by Sarah Jane Tribble and Liz Szabo | Kaiser Health News   
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 18:58

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he will do everything "within my lane" to combat high drug prices and that he sees drug companies "gaming the system to try to block competition" in a multitude of ways in the marketplace. In a wide-ranging interview with Kaiser Health News on Thursday, Gottlieb also said that he wants to speed up the U.S. approval process for generic and "biosimilar" versions of biologic drugs, which are drugs comprised of living organisms, such as plant or animal cells.

"Where we see things that we can address, we're going to take action," Gottlieb said, adding that he is most bothered when brand-name companies use tactics to block makers of generics and biosimilars from developing drugs.

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Last Updated on Monday, 19 March 2018 18:22
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