2017 in review … what killed us

Today is 01/22/2018.. who will not be here tomorrow

2016 in review … what killed us

6775 Americans will die EVERY DAY – from various reasons

2700 people  WILL ATTEMPT SUICIDE

140 will be SUCCESSFUL – including 20 veterans

270 will die from hospital acquired antibiotic resistant “bug” because staff won’t properly wash hands and/or proper infection control.

350 will die from their use/abuse of the drug ALCOHOL

1200 will die from their use/abuse of the drug NICOTINE

1400 will contract C-DIF from Hospital or Nursing home because staff doesn’t properly wash their hands are adhere to infection control  

80 WILL DIE mostly elderly.

850 will die from OBESITY

700 will die from medical errors

150 will die from Flu/Pneumonia

80 will die from Homicide

80 will die in car accidents

70 From ALL DRUG ABUSE

 

http://www.romans322.com/daily-death-rate-statistics.php

Here is the list from the end of 2016 if interested in comparing
United States of America
RealTime
CURRENT DEATH TOLL
from Jan 1, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017 (11:36:39 AM)


Abortion*: 1090465
Heart Disease: 613479
Cancer: 590862
Tobacco: 349505
Obesity: 306566
Medical Errors: 251098
Stroke: 132915
Lower Respiratory Disease: 142741
Accident (unintentional): 135861
Hospital Associated Infection: 98860
Alcohol: 99859
Diabetes: 76380
Alzheimer’s Disease: 93409
Influenza/Pneumonia: 55149
Kidney Failure: 42702
Blood Infection: 33417
Suicide: 42713
Drunk Driving: 33760
Unintentional Poisoning: 31713
All Drug Abuse: 24970
Homicide: 16775
Prescription Drug Overdose: 14979
Murder by gun: 11477
Texting while Driving: 5981
Pedestrian: 4993
Drowning: 3909
Fire Related: 3495
Malnutrition: 2768
Domestic Violence: 1458
Smoking in Bed: 779
Falling out of Bed: 598
Killed by Falling Tree: 149
Lawnmower: 68
Spontaneous Combustion: 0

Totals of all categories are based upon past trends documented below.


Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf#019
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_04.pdf
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/graphs/graphs.htm
http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics.html
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm
http://wonder.cdc.gov/wonder/prevguid/m0052833/m0052833.asp
http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/Pedestrian_Safety/factsheet.html
http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html
http://www.nfpa.org/categoryList.asp?categoryID=953
http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1562978,00.html
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/781687/john-james-a-new-evidence-based-estimate-of.pdf

 

I am being completely weaned off my meds, & suspect I will kill myself with the amount of pain I am in, & will be by the time this is over (the wean that is). Already can’t function.


My husband committed suicide after being abandoned by his pain dr.


Please pray for me as I am on the brink of suicide! I don’t want to die but can’t handle the pain anymore! The doctor that I am currently seeing will not give me enough pills to last all month every month… I have to wait until Oct to get in with a pain management doctor whom I already know by others that I know sees this doctor that he will help me, need prayer to hold on until oct… I keep thinking of my family who needs me hear.


“We just lost another intractable member of our support group two nights ago. She committed suicide because her medications were taken away for interstitial cystitis (a horribly painful bladder condition) and pudendal neuralgia, both of which she had battled for years


D D., journalist and prescribed fentanyl patient for a dozen years joined me on air last weekend with her husband and spoke of her suicide plan should the only relief from constant agony be heavily reduced or taken away.


I was told last Friday that my Dr. will be tapering my meds again . When I told him I didn’t think my body could take another lowering he stated ” it wasn’t my
License on the line”, I stated ” no , but it’s my life on the line”!!!!! I can not continue to live this way . I can not continue to suffer in agony when my medications and dose where working just fine before and I was a productive member of society . I can no longer take this. I have a plan in place to end my life myself When I am forced to reduce my Medications again . I just can’t do it anymore .


On Friday at around 9 p.m. U.S. Navy veteran Kevin Keller parked his red pickup truck in the parking lot at the Wytheville Rite-Aid, walked across the grass and stood in front of the U.S. Veterans Community Based Outpatient Clinic next door.

Sick and tired of being in pain, he pulled out a gun, shot a hole in the office door, aimed the gun barrel at his head and ended his hurt once and for all.


As a longterm pain patient with a current unsupportive pain dr, I just thought I’d share the reality of the position I’m in right now…

I’m in very bad pain all the time for very legit and well documented reasons. My pain dr however never gives me enough meds to help me. He just keeps reducing them, which is causing me to be in even more pain and suffer so much more. My quality of life also continues to go downhill at the same time. I was just given a letter by him recently too about some study indicating an increase in deaths if you take opioids and benzos. It stated he’s no longer going to give pain meds to anyone who is taking a benzo. I take one, because I have to, for a seizure disorder, not because I want to. He told me to pick one or the other though, plus went ahead and reduced my pain meds some more. He doesn’t seem to care the least bit. I’ve looked hard and so far I can’t find another one to get in to see near me at this time, but I’m desperately still trying. Unfortunately, they’re few and far between here, in addition to the wait for an appointment being long. I’ve even called hospice for help. So far, they haven’t been of much help either, because I don’t have a dr who will say I have six months or less to live. I told them either choice my pain dr is giving me is very inhumane, so I’d rather just quit eating and drinking, to the point where I pass away from that, while I get some kind of comfort care from them. I don’t really want to though, although I do have a long list of some very bad health problems, including a high probability that I have cancer and it’s spread. Am I suicidal? No. Will I be if my pain and seizure meds are taken away. Highly likely. I never ever saw this coming either. I don’t have a clue what to do and the clock is ticking, but I’m still fighting for an answer. So far, I can’t find not even one dr to help me though. Not one. I know my life depends on it, but at what point will these drs let my suffering become so inhumane that I just can’t take it anymore. I just don’t know right now. It’s a very scary place to be in for sure. That I do know.


The patient was being denied the medicine that had been alleviating his pain and committed suicide because, “he couldn’t live with the pain anymore. He could not see a future. He had no hope. He had no life.”


I am a chronic pain patient who has been on fairly high doses of opiates for about nine years now. My dose has been forcibly reduced since the cdc guidelines. I moved to Oregon from Alaska and can’t find a doctor to prescribe my medication. I pray I have the strength not to take my own life!


Zach Williams of Minnesota  committed suicide at age 35. He was a veteran of Iraq and had experienced back pain and a brain injury from his time in service. He had treated his pain with narcotics until the VA began reducing prescriptions.


Ryan Trunzo committed suicide at the age of 26. He was an army veteran of Iraq. He had experienced fractures in his back for which he tried to get effective painkillers, but failed due to VA policy. His mother stated “I feel like the VA took my son’s life.”


Kevin Keller, a Navy veteran, committed suicide at age 52. He shot v after breaking into the house of his friend, Marty Austin, to take his gun. Austin found a letter left by Keller saying “Marty sorry I broke into your house and took your gun to end the pain!” Keller had experienced a stroke 11 years earlier, and he had worsening pain in the last two years of his life because VA doctors would not give him pain medicine. On the subject of pain medication, Austin said that Keller “was not addicted. He needed it.”


Bob Mason, aged 67, of Montana committed suicide after not having access to drugs to treat his chronic pain for just one week. One doctor who had treated Mason was Mark Ibsen, who shut down his office after the Montana Board of Medical Examiners investigated him for excessive prescription of opioids. According to Mason’s daughter, Mason “didn’t like the drugs, but there were no other options.”


Donald Alan Beyer, living in Idaho, had experienced back pain for years. He suffered from  degenerative disc disease, as well as a job-related injury resulting in a broken back. After his doctor retired, Beyer struggled without pain medicine for months. He shot himself on his 47th birthday. His son, Garrett, said “I guess he felt suicide was his only chance for relief.”


Denny Peck of Washington state was 58 when he ended his life. In 1990, he experienced a severe injury to his vertebrae during a fishing accident. His mother, Lorraine Peck, said “[h]e has been in severe pain ever since,” and his daughter, Amanda Peck, “said she didn’t remember a time when her dad didn’t hurt.” During the last few years of his life, Peck had received opiates for his pain from a Seattle Pain Center, until these clinics closed. After suffering and being unable to find doctors who would help with his pain, Peck called 911. Two days later, Peck was found dead in his home with bullet wounds in his head. A note found near Peck read: “Can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t do anything. And all the whitecoats don’t care at all.”


Doug Hale of Vermont killed himself at the age of 53. He had experienced pain from interstitial cystitis, and decided to end his life six weeks after his doctor suddenly cut off his opiate painkillers. He left a note reading “Can’t take the chronic pain anymore” before he shot himself in the head. His doctor said he “was no longer willing to risk my license by writing you another script for opioids”  (see attachment A for details of the problem as relyed by his wife Tammi who is now 10 months without a husband as a direct result of the CDC guidelines to prevent deaths)Bruce Graham committed suicide after living with severe pain for two years. At age 62, Graham fell from a ladder, suffering several severe injuries. He had surgery and fell into a coma. After surgery, he suffered from painful adhesions which could not be removed. He relied on opioid painkillers to tolerate his pain, but doctors eventually stopped prescribing the medicine he needed. Two years after his fall, Graham shot himself in the heart to end the pain.


Travis Patterson, a young combat veteran, died two days after a suicide attempt at the age of 26. After the attempt to take his own life, Patterson was brought to the VA emergency room. Doctors offered therapy as a solution, but did not offer any relief for his pain. Patterson died two days after his attempted suicide.


54-year-old Bryan Spece of Montana  killed himself about two weeks after he experienced a major reduction in his pain medication. The CDC recommends a slow reduction in pain medicine, such as a 10% decrease per week. Based on information from Spece’s relative, Spece’s dose could have been reduced by around 70% in the weeks before he died.


In Oregon, Sonja Mae Jonsson ended her life when her doctor stopped giving her pain medicine as a result of the CDC guidelines.


United States veterans have been committing suicide after being unable to receive medicine for pain. These veterans include Peter Kaisen,Daniel Somers, Kevin Keller, Ryan Trunzo, Zach Williams, and Travis Patterson


A 40-year-old woman with fibromyalgia, lupus, and back issues appeared to have committed suicide after not being prescribed enough pain medicine. She had talked about her suicidal thoughts with her friends several times before, saying “there is no quality of life in pain.” She had no husband or children to care for, so she ended her life.


Sherri Little was 53 when she committed suicide. She suffered pain from occipital neuralgia, IBS, and fibromyalgia. A friend described Little as having a “shining soul of activism” as she spent time advocating for other chronic pain sufferers. However, Little had other struggles in her life, such as her feeling that her pain kept her from forming meaningful relationships. In her final days, Little was unable to keep down solid food, and she tried to get medical help from a hospital. When she was unable to receive relief, Little ended her life.


Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle of North Carolina shot himself at age 71. He suffered from long-term pain under his left breast. Although he went through several medical tests to determine the cause of his pain, the results could not provide relief. After Trickle’s suicide, his brother stated that Dick “must have just decided the pain was too high, because he would have never done it for any other reason.”


39-year-old Julia Kelly committed suicide after suffering ongoing pain resulting from two car accidents. Kelly’s pain caused her to quit her job and move in with her parents, unable to start a family of her own. Her family is certain that the physical and emotional effects of her pain are what drove her to end her life. Kelly had founded a charity to help other chronic pain sufferers, an organization now run by her father in order to help others avoid Julia’s fate.


Sarah Kershaw ended her life at age 49. She was a New York Times Reporter who suffered from occipital neuralgia.


Lynn Gates Jackson, speaking for her friend E.C. who committed suicide after her long term opiates were suddenly reduced by 50% against her will, for no reason.  Lynn reports she felt like the doctors were not treating her like a human being (Ed:  a common complaint) and she made the conscious decision to end her life.


E.C. committed suicide quietly one day in Visalia California.  She was 40.  Her friend reported her death.  “She did not leave a note but I know what she did”.  The doctor would only write a prescription for 10 vicodin and she was in so much pain she could not get to the clinic every few days.   We had talked many times about quitting life. Then she left.  She just left.


Jessica, a patient with RSD/CRPS committed suicide when the pain from her disease became too much for her to bear. A friend asserted that Jessica’s death was not the result of an overdose, and that “living with RSD isn’t living.”


https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/27/business/media/sarah-kershaw-former-times-reporter-dies-at-49.html?referer=https://t.co/qcSF8qOBp6?amp=1


http://www.news-press.com/story/news/crime/2014/09/08/death-investigation-at-groves-rv-park-in-fort-myers/15280035/


http://www.kpaddock.org/


https://m.facebook.com/FibroPrince/posts/948610075216801


http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=14073


http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=14574


http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=15023


http://linkis.com/painnewsnetwork.org/7IoUl


http://linkis.com/whotv.com/2016/11/10/ibRof


https://articles.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/alabama_pain_centers_troubles.amp


https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/12/22/chronic-pain-patient-abandoned-by-doctor-dies#.WFwJ5-Lk6Xg.twitter


http://linkis.com/painnewsnetwork.org/oKRZ5


http://linkis.com/www.seattletimes.com/tgyL7


https://edsinfo.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/%ef%bb%bfpain-and-suicide-the-other-side-of-the-opioid-story/amp/


http://www.bendbulletin.com/topics/5342867-151/opioid-crisis-pain-patients-pushed-to-the-brink


https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/5/26/patient-suicide-blamed-on-montana-pain-clinic


https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/5/27/are-cdcs-opioid-guidelines-causing-more-suicides?rq=suicide


http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/man-who-set-himself-on-fire-at-northfield-veterans-clinic/article_b7a4a712-f04e-11e5-a39b-3f42b9138511.amp.html


Aliff, Charles


Beyer, Donald Alan


Brunner, Robert “Bruin”


Graham, Bruce


Hale, Doug


Hartsgrove, Daniel P


Ingram III, Charles Richard


Kaisen, Peter


Keller, Kevin


Kershaw, Sarah


Kimberly, Allison


Little, Sherri


Mason, Bob


Miles, Richard


Murphy, Thomas


Paddock, Karon


Patterson, Travis “Patt”


Peck, Denny


Peterson, Michael Jay


Reid, Marsha


Somers, Daniel


Son, Randall Lee


Spece, Brian


Tombs, John


Trickle, Richard “Dick”


Trunzo, Ryan


Williams, Zack


Karon Shettler Paddock  committed suicide on August 7, 2013  http://www.kpaddock.org/


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1616190951785852&set=a.395920107146282.94047.100001848876646&type=3&theater 

Jessica Simpson took her life July 2017


Mercedes McGuire took her life on Friday, August 4th. She leaves behind her 4 yr old son. She could no longer endure the physical & emotional pain from Trigeminal Neuralgia.


www.disabledveterans.org/2017/08/16/veteran-commits-suicide-front-amarillo-va-emergency-department/

Another Veteran Suicide In Front Of VA Emergency Department


 Depression and Pain makes me want to kill self. Too much physical and emotional pain to continue on. I seek the bliss fullness of Death. Peace. Live together die alone.


 Dr. Mansureh Irvani  suspected overdose victim  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/08/18/suspended-oral-surgeon-dies-suspected-overdose.html


Katherine Goddard’s Suicide note: Due to the pain we are both in and can’t get help, this is the only way we can see getting out of it. Goodbye to everybody,”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-man-arrested-after-girlfriend-dies-during-alleged-suicide-pact/  


Steven Lichtenberg: the 32-year-old Dublin man shot himself   http://www.dispatch.com/news/20160904/chronic-pains-emotional-toll-can-lead-to-suicide  


Fred Sinclair  he was hurting very much and was, in effect, saying goodbye to the family.  http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=21743


Robert Markel, 56 – June 2016 – Denied Pain Meds/Heroin OD  http://www.pennlive.com/opioid-crisis/2017/08/heroin_overdose_deaths.html


 Lisa June 2016  https://youtu.be/rBlrSyi_-rQ


Jay Lawrence  March 2017  https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/9/4/how-chronic-pain-killed-my-husband


Celisa Henning: killed herself and her twin daughters...http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Mom-in-Apparent-Joliet-Murder-Suicide-said-Body-Felt-Like-It-was-On-Fire-Grandma-Says-442353713.html?fb_action_ids=10213560297382698&fb_action_types=og.comments

Karen Boje-58  CPP-Deming, NM


Katherine Goddard, 52 –  June 30, 2017 – Palm Coast, FL -Suicide/Denied Opioids  http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20170816/palm-coast-man-charged-with-assisting-self-murder


https://medium.com/@ThomasKlineMD/suicides-associated-with-non-consented-opioid-pain-medication-reductions-356b4ef7e02aPartial List of Suicides, as of 9–10-17


Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions


Lacy Stewart 59, http://healthylivings247.com/daughter-says-untreated-pain-led-to-mothers-suicide/#


Ryan Trunzo of Massachusetts committed suicide at the age of 26  http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/18881/?fullname=trunzo,-ryan-j  


Mercedes McGuire of Indiana ended her life August 4th, 2017 after struggling with agony originally suppressed with opioid pain medicine but reappearing after her pain medicine was cut back in a fashion after the CDC regulations. She was in such discomfort she went to the ER because she could not stand the intractable pain by “learning to live with it” as suggested by CDC consultants. The ER gave her a small prescription. She went to the pharmacy where they refused to fill it “because she had a pain contract”. She went home and killed herself. She was a young mother with a 4 year old son, Bentley. Bentley, will never get over the loss of his mom.


Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions


“Goodbye” Scott Smith: Vet w/PTSD committed murder/suicide. Killed his wife then himself today 11/27/2017


http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/crime/article/Ex-California-lawmaker-charged-with-aiding-wife-12405065.php

Pamela Clute had been suffering from agonizing back problems and medical treatment had failed to relieve pain that shot down her legs While California’s assisted suicide law went into effect a couple months before Clute’s death, the law only applies to terminally ill patients who are prescribed life-ending drugs by a physician. Clute wasn’t terminally ill


Kellie Bernsen 12/10/2017 Colorado suicide


Scott Smith: Vet w/PTSD committed murder/suicide. Killed his wife then himself today 11/27/2017


  Michelle Bloem committed suicide due to uncontrolled pain


John Lester shot himself on Jan. 8, 2014.


 Anne Örtegren took her life on Jan. 5  


 Debra Bales, 52 – Civilian – January 10, 2018 – Petaluma, CA – Denied Pain Meds/Suicide


where the political money comes from and who it goes to ?

Image result for logo open secrets

https://www.opensecrets.org/

 

Spring Grove IL: “finest” can’t distinguish pistachio shells from MARIJUANA ?

Spring Grove police mistake pistachio shells for marijuana, find pills in woman’s pocket

A pile of crushed pistachio shells mistaken for marijuana led to felony drug charges for a 59-year-old Round Lake Beach woman, who also happened to have a bottle of prescription pills in her pocket, her attorney said.

Nancy Pahlman, of the 1400 block of Lotus Drive, was released from the McHenry County Jail on Wednesday. Judge Jeffrey Hirsch said Pahlman could leave the jail without posting a cash bond on the conditions that she would show up to court dates and not abuse drugs.

She is charged with possession of a controlled substance, which typically is punishable by one to three years in prison.

Spring Grove police stopped Pahlman for speeding on Jan. 5, according to a criminal complaint filed in McHenry County court. When an officer mistook the pile of de-shelled pistachios in her passenger seat for marijuana, the officer asked her to step out of the car, said her attorney, Philip Prossnitz.

A search of Pahlman’s car yielded no marijuana, but police found a bottle of the narcotic pain medication tramodol in her coat pocket, according to a motion her attorney filed.

Prossnitz said he now is trying to prove that police did not have a strong enough reason to search Pahlman’s vehicle.

The prescription for the pills was in a family member’s name, although Pahlman does have her own prescription for the medication to help treat chronic pain from fibromyalgia, Prossnitz said.

A year earlier, when Pahlman said she was driving a family member to cancer treatment, the pills fell out of the relative’s bag, and Pahlman put them in her coat pocket for safe keeping, Prossnitz said.

The family member died shortly after, and the pills were forgotten until she brought out her winter coat again, Prossnitz said.

Representatives from the Spring Grove Police Department and McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office were not available Friday to comment on the charges or details surrounding Pahlman’s arrest.

Her next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 1.

At a future court date, Prossnitz plans to enter a bag of pistachios into evidence, he said.

“I think we are a motion to suppress and a bag of pistachio nuts away from resolving this matter,” he said.

 

WINNING BUREAUCRATIC FORMULA: legal ctrl Rxs down… OD’s from ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES UP ?

WV pharmacies dispensed 31M fewer painkillers and other powerful drugs last year

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/health/wv-pharmacies-dispensed-m-fewer-painkillers-and-other-powerful-drugs/article_c8756a55-8cac-5618-9f86-2e0e990d0e72.html

The number of potentially addictive prescription drugs dispensed by West Virginia pharmacies dropped by 31 million in 2017, the sharpest decline in a single year since the state started tracking such powerful medications.

Controlled substances – which include prescription painkillers, anti-anxiety medications and amphetamines – declined by 12 percent between 2016 and last year, according to the state Board of Pharmacy’s annual report.

Hydrocodone — sold under brand names like Vicodin and Lortab — remained the most-prescribed pain medication, but the number of pills dispensed dropped by 8.4 million tablets. Oxycodone numbers decreased by 9.3 million.

 The state Board of Pharmacy’s Controlled Substances Monitoring Database has been tracking the highly regulated drugs since 2011.

Media reports, investigations and a barrage of lawsuits against drug companies, pharmacies and doctors have raised awareness about prescription narcotics and overdose deaths, said Mike Goff, acting executive director of the West Virginia pharmacy board.

“There’s been more scrutiny by everyone,” Goff said.

Goff’s agency also has been notifying doctors and pharmacists about overdose deaths.

“So if one of these drugs is listed as the cause of death, now we’re sending letters out to the doctors who wrote the prescriptions and to the pharmacies who filled the prescriptions, just letting them know the patient died,” Goff said.

The pharmacy board also alerts medical licensing boards about possible over-prescribing, if a medical professional is linked to a large number of overdose deaths.

“There’s been more utilization of information from the practitioners,” Goff said. “If we see some unusual activities by doctors and pharmacies, where they’re filling a bunch of odd things or writing a bunch of prescriptions, we have the ability to notify the licensing boards,” Goff said. “We’re using the data more.”

The numbers of just two controlled drugs – amphetamines and buprenorphine – increased between 2016 and last year. Buprenorphine, a drug used to treat people addicted to heroin and prescription opioids, jumped by 1 million doses.

Overall, however, controlled substances declined from 267.2 million to 235.9 million doses.

 The release of the pharmacy board’s report comes as state lawmakers grapple with legislation that aims to further curb the number of painkillers doctors can prescribe.

The bill (SB 2) would limit initial prescriptions to a seven-day supply for short-term pain.

The proposed pain-pill prescription limit would not apply to cancer and hospice patients.

If the bill passes, West Virginia would join about two-dozen states that have set limits on opioid prescriptions for acute pain, such as caused by a tooth extraction or ankle sprain.

In 2016, 884 people fatally overdosed on drugs in West Virginia. That was the highest drug overdose death rate of any state.

Heroin- and fentanyl-related overdose deaths were most common, but recent data has shown that many of those who overdosed had a prescription for an opioid painkiller within the previous year.

Illegal methamphetamine- and cocaine-related overdose deaths also have increased significantly over the past year. A final count of 2017 fatal overdoses isn’t expected until May.

Reach Eric Eyre at ericeyre@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-4869 or follow @ericeyre on Twitter.

Antibiotics, Antidepressants Dominate New FDA Watch List

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/891540

The latest quarterly watch list from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes 15 drugs or drug classes for which there is new safety information or possible signs of serious risk.

The watch list, updated January 12 on the FDA website, is created from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).

Placement on this list does not mean the FDA has found that a drug is associated with the listed risk, only that the FDA has identified a potential safety problem. If a further review concludes that the drug is associated with the risk or causes a problem, the FDA has many options for further action, including requiring changes to labeling, restricting use of the drug, or, in rare cases, pulling a product from the market.

The current list, which is from the third quarter of 2017 (July-September), includes 11 antibiotics for which the FDA saw signs of potential risk for hypoglycemic coma and nine antidepressants the FDA flagged because of a potential risk for DRESS (drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms).

 

For two drugs on the list, potential risk has resulted in changes to labels. Ibrutinib capsules (Imbruvica, Pharmacyclis Inc) were listed because of signs of potential risk for ventricular arrhythmia. The Warnings and Precautions section of the labeling for the drug has since been updated to include ventricular arrhythmia. For selexipag tablets (Uptravi, Actelion Phamaceuticals Ltd), the Adverse Reactions: Postmarketing Experience section of the labeling was updated to include hypotension.

For all but one of the other drugs listed, the FDA is evaluating whether regulatory action is needed. The exception is rivaroxaban tablets (Xarelto, Janssen Pharmaceuticals), for which the FDA has determined there is no need for action at this time.

Table.

Active Ingredient (Trade Name) or Product Class Potential Signal of a Serious Risk/New Safety Information Additional Information (as of January 12, 2018)
Tocilizumab injection (Actemra), for intravenous or subcutaneous use. Pancreatitis, hepatotoxicity FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
  • Fenofibrate capsules (Antara)
  • Fenofibrate tablets (Fenoglide, Tricor, Triglide)
  • Fenofibrate capsules, USP (Lipofen)
  • Fenofibric acid tablets (Fibricor)
  • Fenofibric acid capsules, delayed release (Trilipix)
Serious skin reactions FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
  • Amitriptyline
  • Bupropion
  • Citalopram
  • Duloxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Paroxetine
  • Sertraline
  • Venlafaxine
DRESS (drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms) FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
  • Moxifloxacin hydrochloride injection (Avelox), for intravenous use
  • Moxifloxacin hydrochloride tablets (Avelox)
  • Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride oral suspension (Cipro)
  • Ciprofloxacin injection (Cipro IV), for intravenous use
  • Ciprofloxacin hydrochloride tablets (Cipro)
  • Ciprofloxacin extended-release tablets (Cipro XR)
  • Gemifloxacin mesylate tablets (Factive)
  • Levofloxacin injection (Levaquin), solution for intravenous use
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin), solution for oral use
  • Levofloxacin tablets (Levaquin), film coated for oral use
  • Moxifloxacin injection, for intravenous use
Hypoglycemic coma FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
  • Cetirizine hydrochloride
  • Levocetirizine dihydrochloride
  • Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride
Rebound pruritis FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Pseudoephedrine Acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Ibrutinib capsules (Imbruvica) Hepatotoxicity and ventricular arrhythmia Regarding hepatotoxicity, FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action. Regarding ventricular arrhythmia, the Warnings and Precautions section of the labeling was updated to include ventricular arrhythmia.
  • Methotrexate injection, USP
  • Methotrexate oral solution (Xatmep)
Drug interaction with nitrous oxide, potentiated effect of methotrexate on folate metabolism, resulting in increased toxicity (severe myelosuppression, stomatitis, and neurotoxicity) FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Nafcillin injection, USP, for intravenous use Acute renal failure FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Obeticholic acid tablets (Ocaliva), for oral use Liver injury FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
  • Rheumatrex (methotrexate sodium) tablets
  • Methotrexate tablets, USP
Wrong dosing frequency errors (once-daily administration instead of intended once-weekly administration) FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Eculizumab injection (Soliris), for intravenous use Nongroupable meningitis infections and Neisseria (other than N. meningitides) infections FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Selexipag tablets (Uptravi) Hypotension The Adverse Reactions: Postmarketing Experience section of the labeling was updated to include hypotension.
Cariprazine capsules (Vraylar) Stevens-Johnson syndrome FDA is evaluating the need for regulatory action.
Rivaroxaban tablets (Xarelto) Liver injury FDA decided on the basis of available information that no action is necessary at this time.
Source: FDA
 

More information about FAERS and its quarterly watch lists is available on the FDA website.

FL Democratic candidate for AG – IS A RECOVERING ADDICT

BAY COUNTY, Fla. – Ryan Torrens is a democratic candidate from Tampa, where he owns a small law firm.
He says his experiences in law and as a regular citizen are what drives his campaign.

Some of his top priorities are crime in Florida and drug addiction, which he said is something that hits close to home.

“I call it the crisis of addiction instead of the opioid crisis because it includes cocaine, it includes other drugs as well as opioids,” he said. “A record number of Floridians are dying because of this crisis,

I myself am someone who is in recovery and I’ve come out publicly with that so that gives me a unique perspective.”

Torrens campaign website can be found here.

The state will vote for a new attorney general will be November 6.

Those of us who live in FL, know the impact that the current AG – Pam Bondi – had on the chronic pain community in Florida over the last 7 yrs of her being in office.  She help create the “pharmacy crawl”, where pts would have to go to up to a couple of dozen pharmacies to get a single controlled prescription filled.  Florida became the home of infamous phrase used by way to many pharmacists “I’m not comfortable” as the only justification they had for refusing to fill a pt’s prescription(s)… even for those pts in late stage cancer.

Torrens’ perspective on addiction could just become a “new nightmare” for chronic pain and other pts dealing with subjective diseases and have a legit medical need for controlled substances.

Sessions’ marijuana advisor wants to drug test everyone

https://herb.co/marijuana/news/jeff-sessions-marijuana-advisor-dupont-drug-test-everyone

A top-level advisor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants doctors to drug test all their patients, and to force users, they suspect of addiction into rehabilitation against their will. If Robert DuPont gets his way, drug testing could become a required part of your visit to the doctor.DuPont, 81, is one of a small group of drug-policy “experts” Sessions invited to a closed meeting last month to discuss federal response to marijuana legalization. He is one of the most hardline and influential architects of the Drug War, having started out in the 1970s as a liberal on the drug control issue. But by the 1980s DuPont had taken a hard right turn, popularizing the long-debunked claim that cannabis is a “gateway drug.”

DuPont wants to force people into treatment for up to 5 years.

In an interview last year, DuPont pushed for expanding drug testing. His idea includes having physicians force patients whom they believe to have substance abuse problems to submit to drug tests, or lengthy stays in treatment facilities reports Newsweek.

“Among other things, he proposed giving doctors the authority to compel suspected substance abusers into treatment against their will,” reports The Daily Beast. “Once in treatment, patients could face up to five years of monitoring, including random drug tests.”

“We want [drug screens] to be routine in all medicine,” DuPont said. “Doctors already check for things like cholesterol and blood sugar, why not test for illicit drugs? Right now the public thinks that if we provide treatment the addicts will come and get well … that’s not true. So let’s use the leverage of the criminal justice system.”

DuPont was invited to the meeting to speak on “the effects of marijuana on drugged driving.” He has some pretty radical ideas on that subject, too.

A national model bill he helped write in 2010 called on cops to test anyone stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence for all controlled substances, and arresting them on the spot if the slightest trace showed up — regardless of the amount. While the bill includes an exemption for drivers with prescriptions, cannabis users would still get busted. Medical-marijuana patients don’t have prescriptions (due to federal law), just doctor recommendations.

RobertLDupont Sessions marijuana advisor wants to drug test everyone
WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 29: The President of the Institute for Behavior and Health doctor Robert L. DuPont, an opponent of medical marijuana, speaks to the media outside of the U.S. Supreme Court November 29, 2004, in Washington, D.C. The court heard arguments from last years 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Ascroft v Raich to decide whether the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 is unconstitutional as it applies to the right to cultivate and possess cannabis to treat medical conditions as recommended by a medical doctor. (Photo by Mannie Garcia/Getty Images)

That bill’s language makes it specifically clear that people will still be punished even if they are legal medical marijuana patients in states which permit its use. “[The] fact that any person charged with violating this subsection is or was legally entitled to consume alcohol or to use a controlled substance, medication, drug, or other impairing substance, shall not constitute a defense against any charge,” the bill reads.

Even more ominously, the bill includes a section, “prohibiting the internal possession of chemical or controlled substances,” which means you can be arrested for failing a drug test.

“Any person who provides a bodily fluid sample containing any amount of a chemical or controlled substance … commits an offense punishable in the same manner as if the person otherwise possessed that substance.”

This means you could face federal criminal charges for failing a drug test. Of course, the fact that all of this flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment can’t be overlooked. Mandatory drug testing and involuntary detention are radical and according to many legal scholars,  unconstitutional..

DuPont’s views on cannabis became increasingly conservative as his career in drug policy flourished. In 1978, after serving as President Richard Nixon’s drug czar, he warned The Washington Post the marijuana would have “horrendous” effects on society.

“I get a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hear talk about marijuana being safe,” DuPont said. “I have no doubt there are going to be horrendous [effects].” The quote was later used in a 1981 report, “The Marijuana Epidemic,” by far-right think tank The Heritage Foundation.

DuPont proposed that all welfare recipients — and their children  — should be forced to submit to drug testing in a policy The Heritage Foundation also published. This created controversy, because DuPont, after a four-year stint at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) had ventured into the drug-testing industry, reports Rewire. Suddenly, it had become financially beneficial for DuPont to oppose cannabis legalization and support widespread drug testing.

In 2000, he appeared before the federal Food and Drug Administration, pushing for expanded hair follicle testing. DuPont claimed there was no conflict of interest, even though at the time was also a paid consultant and shareholder in Psychemedics, which offered costly hair testing analysis.

A couple of years back… the then Indiana AG Zoeller “persuaded” the Medical Licensing Board to pass an emergency rules mandating that all pts taking opiates MUST BE URINE TESTED… http://nationalpainreport.com/aclu-sues-mandatory-drug-tests-8822798.html  

The ACLU took them to court and the mandatory urine testing was declared a VIOLATION OF THE 4TH AMENDMENT… and the rule was declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

If Session remains in office and continues on the current path of taking us back to the 70’s in fighting the war on drugs… will almost assure that President Trump has ZERO CHANCE of getting elected for a second term.  This 81 y/o advisor needs to RETIRE… obviously his “medical expertise” is grossly out of step with the wants/opinions of the majority of the citizens of the country.

@Kolodny believes one more method for pts to properly discard opiates is UNNECESSARY ?

Walmart Offers Product To Destroy Leftover Opioids, But Critics Say It’s Unnecessary

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/17/578591771/walmart-offers-product-to-destroy-leftover-opioids-but-critics-say-its-unnecessa

Walmart is the latest national company joining in the fight to try to help curb America’s harrowing opioid epidemic, which now kills more people than breast cancer.

On Wednesday the chain rolled out a pharmacy product it says provides a safe way to get rid of extra prescription opioid drugs. It’s called DisposeRx and when mixed with warm water it turns any form of opioid drug — including powders, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or patches — into a biodegradable gel that can’t be separated or converted back into a usable drug.

Walmart touted it as the first of its kind in a statement, and said the ingredients are FDA approved.

“The health and safety of our patients is a critical priority; that’s why we’re taking an active role in fighting our nation’s opioid issue – an issue that has affected so many families and communities across America,” Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of Consumables and Health and Wellness at Walmart U.S., said in the statement.

In 2016 more than 42,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose — including prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl. That is more than any year on record and 40 percent of all overdose deaths involved a prescription.

Walmart explained patients filling new opioid prescriptions at any of its 4,700 pharmacies will receive a free DisposeRx packet starting immediately, while existing customers can ask for one at any time. Patients with chronic pain prescriptions will be offered packets every six months.

Republican Sen. John Boozman from Arkansas praised Walmart for helping “to keep unused prescription drugs out of the wrong hands.”

“About one-third of medications sold go unused. Too often, these dangerous narcotics remain unsecured where children, teens or visitors may have access,” he said in the statement Walmart released.

A CDC study found Arkansas’ prescription drugs are so ubiquitous there are enough pills on the black market that every single citizen — nearly 3 million in the state — could have a full bottle, reported Talk Business & Politics.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative at Brandeis University, agrees that leftover pills do contribute to the spread of addiction but he says products like DisposeRx are unnecessary because the CDC already encourages anyone who’s at the end of a prescription opioid treatment to “flush them down the toilet.” No special ingredients necessary.

“The problem is the general public just doesn’t know that,” he said.

“Think about it,” he continued, “every time someone taking an opioid medication urinates or defecates, it gets into the water supply. So that’s not the real problem.”

Kolodny is also conducting a long-term study on the impact of numerous legislative and private company-led efforts to stem the epidemic. His conclusion on Walmart’s DisposeRx? “It’s nice that they’re trying but it will have little impact.”

The root of the explosion in the addiction crisis, he says, is rampant over-prescribing by doctors and dentists. Through his research, which is ongoing, Kolodny has found that policies limiting prescriptions are most effective, like the one imposed by CVS. In September the drug-store chain began limiting opioid painkillers to seven-day supplies for new patients.

But even that falls short of what is required, Kolodny said.

A better strategy is the one undertaken by the Vermont Department of Health. New rules established in April limit the quantity of a “morphine milligram equivalent” in prescriptions. They lay out specific dosages of drugs containing oxycodone, hydrocodone and acetaminophen-oxycodone (found in Percocet) that doctors should prescribe.

Kaiser Health News reported 22 states either adopted or toughened their prescription size limits in 2016.

Don’t just prescribe pain meds, new state guidelines tell doctors

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2018/01/17/dont-just-prescribe-pain-meds-new-state-guidelines-tell-doctors/1041573001/

Chronic pain physicians had them. So did emergency room doctors. Now outpatient physicians have clear guidelines for managing acute pain without quickly resorting to opioids.

The Indiana Hospital Association, Indiana State Medical Association and the Indiana State Department of Health collaborated to produce the guidelines that aim to discourage the overuse of prescription pain pills considered responsible for driving the opioid crisis.

“I believe these guidelines are a critical tool for both healthcare providers and for patients and will allow them to work together to identify the safest and most effective tools to treat their acute pain,” said Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner.

The new guidelines recommend that for patients with acute pain — pain defined as being related to damaged tissue and that will resolve with healing in a matter of days and weeks — doctors first consider non-pharmacologic treatment, such as ice, acupuncture, chiropracty and massage. If those are not strong enough, doctors should then consider non-opioid pharmacologic treatment, the guidelines say.

 

Only the most severe injuries warrant opioids, the guidelines say. In those instances, doctors should take several steps to ensure that the drugs are not misused, using opioids only in concert with other therapies, putting patients on the lowest dose possible and offering no refills.

An Indiana law that went into effect in July prohibits doctors from prescribing more than a seven-day supply to patients under 18 or to adults for whom that is their first prescription from that provider. Within the first few months of the law going into effect, there were 100,000 fewer prescriptions written, said Dr. John McGoff, president of the Indiana State Medical Association.

 While many doctors shy away from practicing what McGoff called “cookbook medicine,” he added that the guidelines aim to raise awareness among doctors about the problem and serve as a document that doctors can consult for best practices on how to address a patient’s acute pain.

The stunning statistics associated with the opioid epidemic prompted the experts to devise ways to decrease doctors’ reliance on opioids. Excessive prescribing in the early part of this century helped stoke the epidemic, many experts believe.

Since 1999, Indiana has seen death by drug overdose increase by 500 percent.

Nationally accidents have become the third leading cause of death in the United States for the first time ever, according to the National Safety Council.

In 2016, preventable deaths increased by 10 percent over the previous year, largely due to a rise in deaths due to drug overdoses and motor vehicle crashes. Previously chronic respiratory diseases were responsible for the most deaths after heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the experts who wrote the guidelines hope doctors find them useful, the final decision of whether to prescribe an opioid still rests with the doctor, said Julie Reed, executive vice president of the Indiana State Medical Association of the guidelines. Doctors will be able to tailor their decisions to fit their patients’ needs.

“They don’t stand to replace professional judgment or clinical judgment,” said Julie Reed, executive vice president of the Indiana State Medical Association of the guidelines. “That’s really an important thing that needs to be balanced, that is to make sure that the needs and unique characteristics and judgment that healthcare providers have learned through their training over the years can really serve to complement these guidelines.”

IndyStar’s “State of Addiction: Confronting Indiana’s Opioid Crisis” series is made possible through the support of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, a nonprofit foundation working to advance the vitality of Indianapolis and the well-being of its people.

Call IndyStar staff reporter Shari Rudavsky at (317) 444-6354. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Local pharmacies losing business from accidental third-party mailer – CAN’T UNRING A BELL ?

http://www.wbay.com/content/news/Local-pharmacies-losing-business-from-accidental-third-party-letter-470016993.html

SHAWANO, Wis. (WBAY) – At least a dozen local pharmacy across Wisconsin are scrambling after a large company recently sent an accidental letter to its customers which claims they needed to switch to big-box pharmacies if they want lower prices.

Express Scripts is a Fortune 100 company that handles the benefits between clients and their pharmacies all across the U.S. The company is now apologizing after its erroneous letter led many of those clients to turn their backs on locally-owned pharmacies.

Sent in December to about 2,600 people, the note claims customers will pay a higher price if they don’t switch to big box stores nearby, or else use Express Scripts’ own home-delivery service.

Tim Dreier’s family has owned a pharmacy in downtown Shawano for fifty years. When his longtime clients came in and said they had to switch, he knew there had been a mistake.

“It’s consumed over a week of my time. Pretty much everyone that comes in here asks about it. Some still aren’t aware that this is not the case,” said Dreier, who also informed pharmacists in other towns after Express Scripts admitted to the mistake.

The uncertainty hit the family hard. “I really didn’t sleep much that night knowing how this would affect us, and it was serious,” said Jana Dreier.

Tim Dreier took action as soon as the transfer calls came. “One pharmacy called me with a couple transfers, and I called these people back. I said, ‘Are you transferring because of this letter?’ And they said yes.”

“We don’t want to lose any of our faithful customers who have been coming here for decades,” said Dreier.

Target 2 found pharmacies affected by the error all across the state. We even broke the news that the letter wasn’t true to one pharmacist over the phone.

Others have been fighting to keep their customers for a week.

“What we’re trying to do is be proactive and give our patients phone calls, but we don’t know the number of patients or customers that have actually received the letter. We won’t know until they don’t come in or they call us,” said Diane Collier, owner of Erickson Pharmacy in Clintonville.

Collier wants a better, immediate response from Express Scripts. “Very frustrated,” she said. “They’ve basically admitted making a mistake and that they were going to give the patients phone calls to let them know. But it’s a robo call. So they hang up, they don’t listen to it. It needs to be handled with another letter. They had no problem sending letters out to begin with!”

Pharmacists tell us they’re already losing money.

“They are going to come back, but we’ve lost that business for this month,” said Collier.

In a statement to Target 2, Express Scripts says it will mail a letter of apology to all clients affected.

 

 

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