The controversial bill was introduced last fall as a means to curtail the influence sales reps have over doctors — which many believe has contributed to the overuse of opioid pain killers. News on the opioid epidemic comes from Tennessee, Ohio and New York, as well.
Stat: Philly City Council Defeats Move To License Sales Reps And Ban Gifts To Doctors
A controversial Philadelphia ordinance that would have required sales reps to become licensed, prevented drug makers from giving gifts to doctors, and prohibited distribution of copay coupons for controlled substances was voted down amid lobbying by restaurants and pharmaceutical companies. (Silverman, 2/7)
The Associated Press: DA: Nurse Charged In Fatal Drug-Swap Override Safeguard
A spokesman for the district attorney’s office in Davidson County, Tennessee, is explaining why prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a former hospital nurse accused of mistakenly killing a patient. He says it’s because she overrode the safeguards on a medicine dispensing cabinet. The Tennessean reports spokesman Steve Hayslip said Wednesday that former nurse Radonda Leanne Vaught is charged with reckless homicide because she allegedly overrode safeguards at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (2/7)
The Associated Press: Suit: Pharmacy Officer Knew But Didn’t Stop Excessive Dosing
A new wrongful-death lawsuit alleges that an Ohio hospital’s chief pharmacy officer knew about employees prescribing, approving and administering excessive painkiller doses but didn’t stop it from recurring. The lawsuit Thursday over the Nov. 20 death of 82-year-old Melissa Penix names defendants including the Columbus-area Mount Carmel Health System, chief pharmacy officer Janet Whittey and doctor William Husel. (2/7)
The New York Times: Veterinarian Is Sentenced For Implanting Liquid Heroin In Puppies
Fourteen years ago, the police in Colombia stormed a makeshift veterinary clinic at a farm in Medellín, seizing 17 bags of liquid heroin and rescuing a pack of purebred puppies who were in the process of being stuffed with the drug. On Thursday, in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Andres Lopez Elorez, a Colombian national with veterinary training, was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to import the heroin, stitched into the puppies’ stomachs. (Palmer, 2/7)
Richmond Times Dispatch: Local Leaders Announce $100,000 Regional Opioid Awareness Campaign
Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico announced Thursday the launch of a new $100,000 campaign to raise awareness about opioid abuse and community resources for prevention and treatment. The campaign, Opioid Solutions RVA, is aimed at raising awareness of regional efforts to combat the epidemic and connect those struggling with addiction to resources that could save their lives. (Suarez Rojas, 2/7)
And in other news —
Kaiser Health News: What ‘Dope Sick’ Really Feels Like
Detoxing off heroin or opioids without medication is sheer hell. I should know. For many users, full-blown withdrawal is often foreshadowed by a yawn, or perhaps a runny nose, a sore back, sensitive skin or a restless leg. For me, the telltale sign that the heroin was wearing off was a slight tingling sensation when I urinated. (Rinker, 2/8)
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