Good pain physicians are dying. Recently, Dr. Todd Graham was shot dead in a parking lot over refusing to prescribe opioids to a man’s wife. Physicians who care deeply and try to do the right thing are being murdered for not prescribing opioids. I prescribe very few opioids in my chronic pain practice. I do so in a judicious and safe manner for my patients. I have excellent training, and I ...

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STAT_LogoIt is easy to mock the ridiculous and potentially harmful health advice and product lines promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow and her team at Goop. Sleeping near healing crystals, lugging around jade eggs in the vagina, swilling moon juice, undergoing raw goat milk cleanses, dabbing on sex dust, and snapping photos of your aura are ...

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The WHO’s recent announcement of multi-drug resistant strains of gonorrhea raises the specter of a worldwide SuperClap Attack that even the Avengers couldn’t foil. It also comes as yet another ominous reminder of the perils of rampant and indiscriminate antibiotic use. There’s plenty of blame to spread around. True, here in the U.S., consumers can’t buy antibiotics over the counter, but that hasn’t kept physicians and other providers from over-prescribing them ...

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None of us wants to live in a world without access to lifesaving antibiotics. No patient should be subject to an allergic reaction or organ dysfunction from these drugs. No one wants to contract a potentially deadly form of diarrhea, claiming roughly 30,000 lives a year in the U.S., that can take hold after antibiotics wipe out healthy gut bacteria. Yet, every day, patients are prescribed antibiotics that they did ...

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Physicians are influenced by marketing. That's no surprise. So are most consumers, as evidenced by television and radio commercials, billboards, pop up ads and targeted ads for drugs on your computer screen. Big Pharma markets not only to physicians, but also directly to consumers. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Dr. Nicole Van Gronigen made the case that Big Pharma successfully influences physician prescribing behavior via marketing. Specifically, drug ...

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Recently in Missouri, a bill was proposed that would ban women on oral contraceptives (OCP) from working. In the world of politics, the use of contraceptives has been discussed ad nauseam, often without medical consideration. As physicians, in order to continue to uphold our Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm," it is imperative that we continue to challenge any law that goes against scientific evidence, and our voices must be ...

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It may seem strange that a gastroenterologist like me does not prescribe pain medicines. Let me rephrase that. I don’t prescribe opioids or narcotics. I write prescriptions for so few controlled substances that I do not even know my own DEA number. You might think that a gastroenterologist who cares for thousands of patients with abdominal pains would have a heavy foot on the opioid accelerator. But, I don’t. Here’s why. I ...

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There was her 28-year-old daughter lifeless in an ICU bed. Her name was Tricia, and she had dabbled with drugs since she was 15. As a child, she was artistic, adventurous, and always found excitement with other kids who tended to do risky things. She'd justify their behavior and say they were more fun and had better personalities. Eventually, her mom and dad moved to a small town thinking it would be ...

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As of July 1, pharmacies in Maine cannot honor paper or telephone prescriptions for controlled substances, from OxyContin down to Valium, Lyrica, and Tylenol with codeine. EPCS, or electronic prescribing of controlled substances, is a double security step in the prescription process built into EMRs, electronic medical records. It involves another password entry and the use of one-time passwords from a small number generator issued to each prescriber. It has been said ...

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The New York Times says nonadherence to prescribed medications is “an out-of-control epidemic” in the U.S. and quotes a review in Annals of Internal Medicine, which found “20-30% of medication prescriptions are never filled, and approximately 50% of medications for chronic illness are not taken as prescribed.” For example, “a third of kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti-rejection medications, 41% of heart attack patients don’t take ...

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