Breaking News
March 22, 2018 - FDA Alert: NeuroBlate Probe by Monteris Medical: Letter to Health Care Providers, Class I Recall
March 22, 2018 - Morning Break: Booze Study Brouhaha; Stem Cells for MS; Big Debt Problem
March 22, 2018 - New wearable tech from Western may hold big benefits for people with Parkinson’s
March 22, 2018 - Immune cells can repopulate in the retina after elimination, mice study shows
March 22, 2018 - Research provides better understanding of how cancerous cells behave in low oxygen
March 22, 2018 - Menopausal hormone therapy taken soon after menopause may benefit the brain
March 22, 2018 - Booze Boosts Your Heart Rate
March 22, 2018 - Skeptical Cardiologist: Classifying Heart Failure
March 22, 2018 - Instead of nagging your spouse to lose weight, try going on a diet yourself
March 22, 2018 - Neem Biotech to share findings on cystic fibrosis biofilm disruption at ECFS Basic Science Conference
March 22, 2018 - Study uncovers new genetic cause of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy
March 22, 2018 - ENDO: Big Breakfast May Help in Diabetics
March 22, 2018 - I’m not overweight, so why do I need to eat healthy foods?
March 22, 2018 - UCLA-led study suggests unexpected reason for reduction in cardiovascular health disparities
March 22, 2018 - Study suggests detailed neuropsychological assessment for brief cardiac arrest survivors
March 22, 2018 - Anticoagulant drugs found safe to use in patients undergoing surgery for irregular heartbeat
March 22, 2018 - SP Industries appoints Brian Larkin as new President and CEO
March 22, 2018 - GTx Announced New Data Demonstrating Enobosarm’s Potential to Treat Stress Urinary Incontinence
March 22, 2018 - Higher Risk of Brain Deficits in Older Alcoholics
March 22, 2018 - Top US health official resigns in conflict of interest
March 22, 2018 - Study shows benefits of hair loss drug in improving cognitive function and vascular health
March 22, 2018 - Researchers explain link between 2 key Alzheimer’s proteins
March 22, 2018 - Patients on replacement therapy with thyroid hormone may have more comorbidities
March 22, 2018 - Higher online patient ratings linked to urologists who saw fewer Medicare patients
March 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Ilumya (tildrakizumab-asmn) for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis
March 22, 2018 - Beer Raises Heart Rate; KardiaBand Hyperkalemia Test; CHD Clinics
March 22, 2018 - A retinal implant that is more effective against blindness
March 22, 2018 - New system based on artificial intelligence provides reliable detection of breast cancer
March 22, 2018 - Research offers new understanding about cause of Parkinson’s disease
March 22, 2018 - HORIBA’s Microsemi CRP analyzer improves quality of care in emergency pediatric units, study shows
March 22, 2018 - Neuroscientists move closer to developing tools for deciphering brain function
March 22, 2018 - New test methods with less fear
March 22, 2018 - Range of Vaginal Dryness Products Can Help Postmenopausal Women: Study
March 22, 2018 - Higher Dose Tx Deemed Safe in Pulmonary TB
March 22, 2018 - Discovery of new ALS gene points to cytoskeleton as potential target for drug development
March 22, 2018 - Diet soda associated with higher odds of diabetic retinopathy
March 22, 2018 - LSD reduces ‘sense of self’
March 22, 2018 - Vitamin D deficiency linked to metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women
March 22, 2018 - Changes in the intestines may be responsible for reversal of diabetes after bariatric surgery
March 22, 2018 - iPads and Cancer; Clot Retrieval and Stroke: It’s PodMed Double T!
March 22, 2018 - Premature births linked to changes in mother’s bacteria
March 22, 2018 - Brain SPECT scans predict treatment outcomes in patients with depression
March 21, 2018 - Researchers succeed in integrating artificial organelles into cells of living organism
March 21, 2018 - Researchers discover ‘missing mutation’ in severe infant epilepsy
March 21, 2018 - Researchers develop statistics-based computational scheme to zoom in on brain function
March 21, 2018 - Verge joins Genomics England’s Discovery Forum industry partnership
March 21, 2018 - Trovagene Announces First Patient Successfully Completes Cycle 1 of Treatment with PCM-075 in Combination with Low Dose Cytarabine (LDAC) in AML Trial
March 21, 2018 - Congenital Cardiac Cath Tx Often Strays from Guidelines
March 21, 2018 - Marked increase in cardiovascular risk factors in women after preeclampsia
March 21, 2018 - New app may help predict, track manic and depressive episodes in bipolar patients
March 21, 2018 - Discovery of genes could lead to development of novel therapies for EBV-related cancers
March 21, 2018 - High-fat, high-cholesterol diet depletes ranks of artery-protecting immune cells
March 21, 2018 - Research misconduct allegations shadow likely CDC appointee
March 21, 2018 - Most Breast Ca Patients Fail to Get Genetic Counseling
March 21, 2018 - Lopsided ear function can lead to lopsided brain development
March 21, 2018 - Acupuncture helps manage menopausal symptoms, review finds
March 21, 2018 - Motor skill training may contribute to reading skills in obese children
March 21, 2018 - Poor dental health may be related to increased diabetes risk
March 21, 2018 - Chronic opioid users at increased risk of complications after spinal fusion surgery
March 21, 2018 - Study uncovers potential therapeutic target against large family of parasites
March 21, 2018 - NSAID use linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation
March 21, 2018 - Scientists develop brain “stethoscope” that can detect silent seizures
March 21, 2018 - New method predicts effects of global warming on disease
March 21, 2018 - Insurance Company Hurdles Burden Doctors, May Harm Patients
March 21, 2018 - Renal Transplant from HCV-Positive Donors Feasible
March 21, 2018 - Myelodysplastic syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
March 21, 2018 - Research reveals brain mechanism involved in language learning
March 21, 2018 - Many parents still hesitate to try early peanut introduction, survey finds
March 21, 2018 - Audiologist urges tinnitus sufferers facing ‘revolving door healthcare’ to seek support
March 21, 2018 - Study reveals impact of prostate cancer on wives and partners of sufferers
March 21, 2018 - ‘Almost a Miracle Drug’: What We Heard This Week
March 21, 2018 - Study shows NIH spent >$100 billion on basic science for new medicines
March 21, 2018 - Columbia researchers identify nerve cells that drive fruit fly’s escape behavior
March 21, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech selected by ABL Europe to supply single-use process technologies
March 21, 2018 - Increase in coffee consumption may help battle against colon cancer
March 21, 2018 - Hydrogel may accelerate healing of diabetic ulcers
March 21, 2018 - Dermira’s Two Phase 3 Trials Evaluating Olumacostat Glasaretil in Patients with Acne Vulgaris Did Not Meet Co-Primary Endpoints
March 21, 2018 - DePuy Synthes introduces ACTIS Total Hip System for improving initial implant stability
March 21, 2018 - ‘Oh, It Was Nothing’
March 21, 2018 - Herbal drug kratom linked to salmonella illnesses, CDC says
Front-Line Officials See Impact on Opioid Crisis

Front-Line Officials See Impact on Opioid Crisis

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

WASHINGTON — Public health and criminal justice experts and a clinician directly impacted by the opioid crisis shared examples of interventions they believe are helping to drive down the epidemic during a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Thursday.

Increasing prescriber education, enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), providing incarcerated individuals access to treatment, and preventing low-level offenders from being jailed in the first place are effective strategies for combating the opioid crisis, they said.

Omar Abubaker, DMD, PhD, of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, shared his personal connection to opioid addiction: his 21-year-old son Adam died from an overdose in 2014 after becoming addicted following a Vicodin prescription for a minor shoulder injury.

“My pain is magnified because my profession shares some of that burden,” he said.

Abubaker told the committee that the entire educational system needs to change so that dentists, doctors, and nurses will begin to see addiction for the brain disease that it is.

“What we’re trained is really write the prescription and … walk away from the patient,” he said.

This lack of education, he believes, is one reason for the crisis.

In his written testimony, he urged the committee to enact federal mandates requiring education on opioid prescribing, pain management, and addiction.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) agreed: “I firmly believe all physicians need this training … Our nation’s clinicians need to know when they see someone who has an addiction problem, and I don’t think they get that training.”

Another panelist spoke of Rhode Island’s comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic, which is widely viewed as a national model. Rebecca Boss, director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, described the state’s comprehensive program that promotes prevention, rescue, treatment, and recovery for individuals with substance use disorders or the potential to develop such issues.

Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-R.I.) created The Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, which Boss co-chaired. It developed a strategic plan, the cornerstone of which was access to treatment.

The $2 million in state funding for programs in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 has allowed Rhode Island to adopt an approach of “every door being the right door.” For example, anyone entering the corrections systems is screened for opioid use disorders and, when appropriate, started on medication assisted therapy, or continued on such therapies, Boss said.

Currently, 300 inmates receive access to medication assisted treatment each month, she noted.

The state’s Anchor MORE program lets recovery coaches reach out to addicted individuals on the the streets and to inmates in the corrections system prior to their release. Boss touted a 75% success rate in connecting former inmates to care in the community.

A similar program, AnchorED, connects overdose survivors with coaches. The state recently developed a pilot program with special authorization allowing these survivors to consent to being reached after they’ve left the hospital, which is showing some preliminary success, she said.

Boss is optimistic about the 10% reduction in overdose deaths for 2017 — a statistic expected to be formally announced this week. However, “the battle is far from over and we need to press on,” she said.

Boss thanked Congress for passing the 21st Century Cures Act, which included $1 billion for prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance use disorders. She also acknowledged that measures in the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, such as changes to waiver requirements for prescribing substance use disorder treatment, are one reason the state now has twenty new, mid-level practitioners to help to manage this population.

John Tilley, JD, Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet for Kentucky, also thanked Congress for state grants provided in the “Cures Act,” which allowed pilot programs such as one that provides inmates with naltrexone 30 days before release, on the day of release, and in the community setting.

Finally, Andrea Magermans, managing director of the Wisconsin Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, spoke of the success her state had in integrating PDMPs with the electronic health record.

The Wisconsin e-PDMP — the “e” stands for enhanced — allows “one-click access” to a patient’s prescription history, including warnings about high levels of opioid use and concomitant benzodiazepine prescribing. The systems also tracks patients who travel long distances to obtain prescriptions.

In addition, prescribers can use the tool to evaluate their own prescribing patterns compared with peers in their specialty, and their supervisors can monitor the e-PDMPs to find outliers.

Data from the e-PDMPs is also collected by the Wisconsin State Controlled Substances Board, where staff can determine whether to refer a prescriber to a state licensing board for disciplinary action.

Several of the committee members, mainly Democrats, pressed witnesses about the issue of opioid funding.

While President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a “public health emergency,” he has yet to send Congress a supplemental funding request.

All of the witnesses agreed that additional funding would be needed to help quell the opioid epidemic.

Asked about the impact of a potential $1 trillion cut to Medicaid if the Republican tax reform bill passes, most of the witnesses agreed their programs would be negatively affected.

Tilley wavered, arguing that access to Medicaid does not necessarily mean better outcomes.

But, “if we don’t have money to do the things we do today, there will be some changes,” he said.

Boss was unequivocal: “I think all of our efforts are disintegrated,” she said. “Our access to treatment is foundational and Medicaid supports access to treatment.”


Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles