Not only is October American Pharmacists Month, a time to recognize pharmacists for the great care they provide to communities, but October 27th is also the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The day is designed to highlight a program that provides a safe and responsible method for patients to discard prescription medications from their homes and learn more about the risk of abuse with controlled prescription medications. The DEA website has a collection site locator, where Americans can find the exact location to discard their medications safely. The website also has a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service (SAMHSA) Behavioral Health Treatment Services locator, it’s confidential and helps individuals find resources in their area.
Tagged with: DEA, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, overdose, SAMHSA
The Internet is the last place Americans look to when they want to get high on prescription narcotics, according to government data. One-tenth of 1% (.1%) of Americans who obtain prescription opioids for non-medical purposes (to “get high”) say that they obtain them over the Internet.
This data is based on the latest survey, published in 2015, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Compare that to the main channels people use for prescription opiates for getting high:
50.5% from friends
22.1% from their doctors
10.9% buy them from friends
4.8% from a drug deal or other stranger
4.4% took or stole it from a friend
3.1% from more than one doctor
0.4% stole from a doctor’s office, hospital or clinic
3.6% some other way not asked in the survey
This information is important to the community of companies, organizations and consumers that support online access to safe, affordable medication and personal drug importation. Groups funded by the pharmaceutical industry use the tragedy that is the opioid crisis in America to oppose legislation and regulations that would otherwise help more Americans safely import lower-cost medication. They do so by naming the Internet the culprit for the epidemic. The data indicates that this blame is seriously misplaced. (more…)
Tagged with: opioid epidemic, SAMSHA
Pharma-sponsored lackeys are using the hellish opioid crisis as an excuse to bash Senator Bernie Sanders’ drug importation bill, claiming it will worsen the crisis. This is all the more aggravating in light of the role of the pharmaceutical industry in causing the opioid death spiral in America in the first place. High drug prices and opioid abuse, such as lawful and illegal fentanyl use, are both killers. I published an article in The Hill on Friday called a Tale of Two Drug Bills to address this issue.
Tagged with: fentanyl, stop, synthetic opioid
Pharma Pushing Drugs at your Local Pharmacy
There’s a big lie peppered throughout news articles about buying medication online: 50% of medications ordered online are counterfeit, based on a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). That claim is without merit, but nonetheless pushed as fact by pharma-funded groups like Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies. WHO never conducted such a study. In its section on counterfeit drugs, WHO used to reference an unnamed study claiming that 50% of medications ordered from illegal online pharmacies that don’t publish a mailing address are counterfeit. WHO finally removed it from its latest public education page on counterfeit drugs. That “data” has worked to scare people away from buying more affordable medication online from other countries.
What does this have to do with the opioid addiction crisis and drug company propaganda? This week it was widely reported that, essentially, drug companies fueled the epidemic of opioid abuse in America by misusing a single letter written by a doctor in 1980 about the benefits of opioids. The letter was to the New England Journal of Medicine and stated that only four people out of 40,000 who received treatment with prescription opioid medications became addicted. It was not a peer-reviewed study or even a study at all! From CBS News:
“And that is how a one-paragraph letter with no supporting information helped seed a nationwide epidemic of misuse of drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin by convincing doctors that opioids were safer than we now know them to be.”
The devil (and that’s not a euphemism) is truly in the details. The author of the letter, Dr. Hershel Jick, affirmed that the letter was meant to cover patients in a hospital setting in the short-term, not out-patient settings, long-term use, or for pick-up at a pharmacy when someone has backpain. Dr. Jick stated: “I’m essentially mortified that that letter to the editor was used as an excuse to do what these drug companies did.” (more…)
Tagged with: 1980 letter, abuse, CDC, jick, opioid, overdose, Partnership for Safe Medicine
The prescription narcotic epidemic in America is banging on our national consciousness, almost as loudly as the issue of skyrocketing drug prices. The pharmaceutical industry and its front groups have tried in the past to conflate safe international online pharmacies with the illegal and dangerous online sale of controlled drugs, including prescription narcotics, and I’ve called them out over the years. Safe international online pharmacies do not sell prescription narcotics at all. But, unlike safe international online pharmacies, which sell non controlled medications at much lower prices, is Big Pharma pushing narcotics and fueling drug addiction in America? Apparently, yes.
As reported in The Fix, a documentary film called “Prescription Thugs” explores the connection between the pharmaceutical industry, the power it wields in Congress, and the painkiller addiction epidemic. It is the story of people who were introduced to painkillers when their doctors prescribed them, only to find themselves addicted. For years, the industry was making a certain formulation of the popular prescription opiate OxyContin that was easily abused by addicts and therefore driving astronomical sales. When a new form of the drug made it harder to crush and therefore inject intravenously, its sales tanked by 80%. You can view the film’s trailer at http://www.prescriptionthugs.com/.
Tagged with: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, Big Pharma, controlled drugs, Partnership for Safe Medicines, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
I like showing Americans who are searching online for affordable medication, often from foreign pharmacies, that their mom and pop pharmacy on Main Street U.S.A. can actually offer a better deal. It’s actually pretty common. The generic version of Valium, diazepam, which treats anxiety, is a perfect example. Bottom line: no need to buy online or from Canada to save money.
Tagged with: diazepam, Drug Prices, local pharmacies, Online Pharmacies, Valium