A small study published this month showed that most Epipens retain their potency for at least 4 years after their expiration date. That’s no guarantee, of course. I’d still recommend as a “best practice” that families replace them as they expire. But it’s reassuring to know that they’ll usually be effective even when expired. And using an expired EpiPen is almost certainly better than using nothing ...

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acp new logoA guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com. One thing about me that even my closest friends are unaware of is that I am a zombie fighter. Unlike the ones in video games, TV series, or movies, the zombies that I fight in my practice are prescriptions that won’t die. They ...

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“Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered,” the saying goes. And so may it prove to be true for the pharmaceutical industry. Three articles, all published May 3, illustrate the greed and egregious pricing by certain drug companies that are gaining public recognition and scrutiny. As an example, Marathon invested $370,000 to obtain the license for the data on “deflazacort,” a steroid available for about $1,200 a year in the United Kingdom. ...

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Opioids have become so closely associated with chronic pain that it is nearly impossible to talk about one without the other. When we look back just five years ago, when we were still in residency, news stories about chronic pain and opioid overdoses were not commonplace. Now, we find ourselves almost desensitized to each new opioid headline. We are general internists, primary care providers and junior faculty. We practice at ...

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I recently took a three hour online course on something I learned to do when I was a medical student. And I thought it was something I had been doing fairly well for the past 20 years.

New regulations have come down requiring all practitioners to take a CME-certified course on safe and effective management of opiates for acute and chronic pain. This has clearly ...

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There is enthusiasm in politics about reducing regulation to stimulate creativity and economic growth. Maybe. But reduction in oversight of medication and medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will probably lead to a proliferation of expensive potions and gadgets that don't actually help. The New England Journal of Medicine published an article detailing the near miss associated with an injectable monoclonal antibody for Alzheimer's disease. ...

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One of the most challenging and difficult parts of my professional day is trying to determine if my patients are actually taking their as prescribed. I ask my patients to bring their medications to each visit in the original pill bottles, and we count pills. I ask them to bring their medication lists as well, and we go through the time-consuming practice of reviewing each medication against the prescribing date and ...

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Imagine that you are gasping for breath, literally on the verge of death. Then someone injects you with a medicine and -- miracle! -- you are perfectly healthy again. Would you pay $300 for that injection? The treatment is epinephrine; your illness was a life-threatening allergy. And that $300 price? That reflects a six-fold increase from a couple of years ago. It’s one thing for medications to be ...

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. in the midst of a major public health crisis regarding the misuse of opioid medications.| Today, more people die of overdoses related to the use of opioids than any other drug or medication. In fact, opioid deaths (including the use of heroin) have quadrupled since 1999. Approximately 650,000 prescriptions are written for opioid medications every day in the ...

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More than a decade ago, the job of the pharmaceutical rep was enviable. Direct-to-consumer advertising pre-sold many drugs so doctors already knew about them. Medical offices welcomed the reps who were usually physically attractive and brought lunch. In fact, reps sometimes had their own reception rooms in medical offices. By 2011 thanks to drug safety scandals and new methods of marketing, the bloom had fallen off the pharma reps’ roses. ...

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