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posted by martyb on Saturday October 28 2017, @05:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the we-need-a-heroin dept.

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place. If they don't start, they won't have a problem." – President Donald J. Trump

President Trump has declared the "Opioid Crisis" a nationwide public health emergency. This action will allow for "expanded access to telemedicine services" to remotely prescribe medicines for substance abuse, allow the Department of Health and Human Services to "more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively to our Nation's ongoing public health emergency", allow the Department of Labor to issue dislocated worker grants for those "displaced from the workforce" due to the Opioid Crisis, and will help people with HIV/AIDS to receive substance abuse treatment. The press release lists several actions that the Trump Administration has taken to respond to the Opioid Crisis, including the July 2017 law enforcement action against AlphaBay.

The declaration has been criticized for not requesting any funds to respond to the Crisis. The "nationwide public health emergency" declaration is also distinct from a promised "national emergency declaration", which would have freed up money from the Disaster Relief Fund to be spent on the Crisis. 14 Senate Democrats have introduced a bill that would authorize $45 billion to address the Opioid Crisis. The Obama Administration called on Congress last year to pass just over $1 billion in funding for opioid treatment programs nationwide. This funding was included in the 21st Century Cures Act.

The Department of Justice has arrested and charged the founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., John Kapoor, along with other executives from his company. Kapoor is accused with leading a nationwide conspiracy to bribe doctors and illegally distribute the company's fentanyl spray, intended for cancer patients, so that it could be prescribed for non-cancer patients. Kapoor stepped down as CEO of Insys in January. Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb said, "Mr. Kapoor and his company stand accused of bribing doctors to overprescribe a potent opioid and committing fraud on insurance companies solely for profit. Today's arrest and charges reflect our ongoing efforts to attack the opioid crisis from all angles. We must hold the industry and its leadership accountable - just as we would the cartels or a street-level drug dealer." Six former Insys executives and managers were charged in December.

[takyon: a262 would like you to know that Insys Therapeutics donated $500,000 to help defeat Arizona's 2016 ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational use of cannabis.]

Walgreens has announced that it will stock Narcan® (naloxone) nasal spray in all of its over 8,000 pharmacies nationwide. Naloxone is a life-saving essential medicine that can reverse opioid overdoses and treat opioid withdrawal. Naloxone is available over-the-counter in 45 states, but still requires a prescription in Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming. Delaware recently allowed over-the-counter sales of naloxone. Laws in Hawaii and Missouri are pending, and Montana has agreed to grant CVS wider access to the drug.

Maybe banning kratom was a mistake.

Nationwide Public Health Emergency: Also at NYT, BBC, Reuters, and Fox News.

Insys Therapeutics Inc.: Also at NPR and Bloomberg.

Walgreens Narcan: Also at NPR, ABC, and CBS.

Previously: 4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War
Development of a Heroin Vaccine
Goal of US's First Opioid Court: Keep People Alive
Chicago Jail Handing Out Naloxone to Inmates Upon Release


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:25AM (2 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday October 29 2017, @01:25AM (#588863) Homepage Journal

    "go after big pharma themselves. "

    I think a top-down approach, as well as a bottom-up, is fitting. Remember all the crap we were told about pushers, decades ago? They were predators, lowlifes, less-than-human, pushing their poison to children, and the weak. The hell with the street corner pushers. Forget about some old crack whore running a crack house. Those are small time players, and putting them out of action will do diddly-squat.

    The people to go after are the LAWMAKERS who passed the laws allowing all those "legal" drugs. Go after the Big Pharma executives, those bastards KNOW they are pushing poison to old, young, and everyone. The doctors? Well, those sons of bitches know at least as well as those Big Pharma execs that they are helping to push poison. All of those are the real parasites.

    A large number of junkies wouldn't even BE junkies, if their trusted medical professional hadn't got them hooked. But, it wasn't just the doctor - those execs were pushing, and the lawmakers made it "legal". The rest of the junkies couldn't have become junkies either, if the shit wasn't even being manufactured, and pumped into the supply line.

    But, "Less than 1% of medical opioid users get hooked" - or words very similar to that.

    Parasites.

    Poetic justice would be, if those lawmakers and pharma execs all bury all of their own god damned children - and grand children too. They need to lose everything dear to them, to understand how badly they have fucked the American citizens.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 29 2017, @06:19AM (#588951)

    You are partially right and partially wrong.

    Of all the addicts I know not one got addicted because of their doctor. I am not saying it does not happen. But most were recreational up until it was no longer recreational. I also know many who keep it recreational and never progressed.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Spamalope on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:21PM

    by Spamalope (5233) on Sunday October 29 2017, @02:21PM (#589037) Homepage

    Well, big pharma started lacing opiods with acetaminophen so they'd kill addicts and reduce the PR problem.

    According to the FDA, acetaminophen remains the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S., despite repeated government warnings. However, the majority of acetaminophen-related deaths are due to prescription drugs, not over-the-counter medications.

    How about at least manslaughter charges?