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Tag: prescription drugs

Updates in Federal Legislation Addressing Digital Therapeutics, Access to Care

Article Excerpt: Health care legislation has been on hold at the federal level following Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) removal as Speaker of the House. Although legislation cannot currently pass through Congress, important actions around digital therapeutics, access to care, and health care disparities are still important to highlight. In a session at AMCP Nexus 2023, Jennifer Mathieu, MA, senior vice president of professional and government affairs at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, and Geni Tunstall, JD, director of regulatory affairs at AMCP, discussed federal legislative and regulatory updates that are on the horizon.

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Article Source: AJMC (Also in Pharmacy Times).


Opioid Prescription Decision Tool May Be Feasible Option to Curb Overprescribing

Article Excerpt: A new report shows that an app designed to help clinicians make better opioid-prescribing decisions following surgery can be a useful tool, although not all clinicians said they would continue using it. The study, published in BMJ Open, highlights one potential strategy to help curb the overprescription of opioids, which is believed to be a major factor in the current epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States. The study investigators said persistent postsurgical opioid use is a common problem that occurs in about 6% of opioid-naive patients who are given the drugs. In about 15% of cases, patients are discharged with opioid prescriptions that are inconsistent with their opioid usage while in the hospital.

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Article Source: AJMC


AI and Genetics Could Help Doctors Treat Alcohol Addiction, Research Shows

Article Excerpt: Imagine a patient has been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder, and their health care provider is reviewing medication options to help them curb their drinking. The provider asks the patient some basic questions, like alcohol cravings and stress levels, and collects a blood sample for genetic testing. A computer model uses this information to determine which medication would most likely support the patient with managing their alcohol use. With the help of the model, the provider gives a medication recommendation that is the best fit for their patient.

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Article Source: Medical Xpress


ONC, CDC say Integration Framework Can Combat Opioid Crisis

Article Excerpt: For the past five years, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been working together on an interactive resource for states and health systems called the Integration Framework. The tool is meant to give guidance to help improve integration of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) within clinicians’ workflows. It includes best practices for implementing advanced clinical decision support systems to help flag potential opioid abuse, and it outlines steps to help advance and scale PDMP integration with IT systems, such as electronic health records, health information exchanges and pharmacy systems.

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Article Source: Health IT News


Dealing with Medication-Related Weight Gain

Article Excerpt: Part of taking medications is knowing there may be side effects and talking to your doctor if they’re anything worse than mild. But there is one somewhat common side effect that many people find especially worrisome: weight gain. Few among us want to gain weight—and extra pounds are particularly distressing if they further complicate the condition for which you’re taking the medicine in the first place. Some drugs prescribed to treat heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression and arthritis can cause weight gain, which can make the disease they are treating worse instead of better, says UNC Health geriatrician and obesity medicine specialist John A. Batsis, MD.

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Article Source: UNC Health Talk


This Pitt Researcher Is Using Data to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Article Excerpt: Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic knows no boundaries or borders. It touches rural and urban areas, former steel towns and bustling downtowns. And approaches to fighting the epidemic are as diverse as the people it impacts. Pitt’s Jeanine Buchanich, a research associate professor in the School of Public Health, is taking a big-picture approach to figuring out what programs will best tackle the problem. Since 2019, she has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to evaluate community-based programs using data tracking and analysis, funded by an Overdose Data to Action grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Buchanich has evaluated public health interventions as varied as community-level training for first responders on naloxone use and stigma reduction; county and municipal health department prevention efforts; the Patient Advocacy Program, which helps patients who have been prescribed controlled substances; local and statewide provider education efforts and Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

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Article Source: University of Pittsburgh Pittwire


How Technology Can Help Providers Fight Back Against the Opioid Epidemic

Article Excerpt: Healthcare information technology has opened new doors to understanding opioid addiction, but there still are areas where data and innovation can help medical professionals better handle this crisis, contends Reema Hammoud, PharmD, assistant vice president of clinical pharmacy at Sedgwick, a vendor of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business systems. The COVID-19 pandemic is a major health crisis that has taken center stage, but the still-rising opioid crisis is a large-scale epidemic that cannot be overlooked. It is a crisis in desperate need of innovative solutions, and certainly technology can be one sector that provides them.

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Article Source: Healthcare IT News


MGH Scientists Develop a Data-Driven Simulation Model to Address the Rampant Opioid Crisis

Article Excerpt: A data-driven simulation model designed to help policymakers to better understand and address the nation’s rampant opioid crisis has been developed by a team of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). In a study in the journal PNAS, researchers report that the model, known as SOURCE (Simulation of Opioid Use, Response, Consequences, and Effects), presents the most detailed model to date of the crisis by capturing how the interconnections between stages of prescription and illicit opioid use, from initiation and addiction treatment to relapse and overdose mortality, have evolved over time. “The opioid crisis is so complex that it demands a dynamic simulation tool that can generate reliable data and a big picture perspective on this major public health challenge,” says senior author Mohammad Jalali, PhD, with the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment.

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Article Source: News-Medical.Net


Can Virtual Reality Help Ease Chronic Pain?

Article Excerpt: Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the world. By some measures, 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, in part because the power of medicine to relieve it remains inadequate. Helen Ouyang, a physician and contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, explores the potentially groundbreaking use of virtual reality in the alleviation of acute pain, as well as anxiety and depression, and meets the doctors and entrepreneurs who believe this “nonpharmacological therapy” is a good alternative to prescription drugs. Ouyang explains virtual reality’s rise as an unlikely tool for solving the “intractable problem” of pain, but she also highlights those set to benefit financially from the treatment: The virtual reality sector in health care alone is, according to some estimates, already valued at billions of dollars, and is expected to grow by multiples of that in the next few years.

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Article Source: The New York Times Magazine