Have you ever had a prescription altered? I have, several times — all opioids. Despite making copies of every prescription to prove what I actually wrote for, dealing with everything from patients who threatened to sue me for false accusations to time spent with the DEA was a real pain. The good news is that during the pre "pain as fifth vital sign" era at least — since my prescribing ...

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Tuesday morning. Sarah wakes up at 4 a.m., like every other morning, to go to clinic to get a medicine she cannot function without.  But it’s not as easy as that. She has to take her three small children with her because she is a single parent and has no one else to stay at home with them.  She does this six days a week. This is her life. This is the reality of ...

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Drug costs in the U.S. are higher than in in any other industrialized country in the world. Our cost for an insulin glargine (long-acting insulin) pen is $76.80 and in Canada, so very few miles away, it costs $19.60. The latter price is reasonable. The former price can make the difference between being able to afford a life-saving drug and dying. It is illegal, however, for a U.S. citizen to ...

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As physicians, we are experts at prescribing medications. However, we often fail miserably when it comes to recognizing adverse reactions and tapering medications. It’s something that is simply lacking in our medical training. I have become a victim of this with benzodiazepines, as I detailed in a prior blog post. Benzodiazepines, in particular, are very difficult drugs to taper. I would like to share with you ...

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The costs of many generic drugs have skyrocketed. In some cases, the price of a single pill has increased over 500 percent. But help may be on the way. Recently several large and respected non-profit hospital systems indicated that they will "fire a shot across the bow" of the generic drug business. That would be a game-changer. Why has the price of generics skyrocketed? Some large drug companies have purchased ...

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Meet Johnathan, a 34-year-old male from rural Georgia we recently treated for back pain as a result of some extra contractor work he took on over the holidays.  We see patients like him every 11 minutes, which doesn’t leave much time to get beyond Johnathan’s chief complaint.  He leaves with his first prescription for opioids. *** Of the 91 Americans taken each day, Georgia now claims
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As the health care debate drags on, prescription drug costs continue to rise by almost 10 percent annually. It is the rare patient who is spared this expense. Over the years, I have seen how these costs have affected my patients. At first, most patients had little in the way of co-pays. However, once the local economy deteriorated, co-pays skyrocketed as employers tried to curb their health ...

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“I made myself a hypodermic injection of a triple dose of morphia and sank down on the couch in my consulting room ... I told her I was all right, all I wanted was twenty-four hours’ sleep, she was not to disturb me unless the house was on fire.” – Axel Munthe, MD, The Story of San Michele (1929) When people in this country mention the opioid epidemic, most of the time it is ...

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Part of a series. A pill to end aging. Is there or could there be such a pill? Some researchers think so. Many believe that rather than attack the causes and treatment of chronic illnesses one by one, it would be better to understand the biology of aging and from that learn how to slow the process and hence prevent or delay the onset of various ...

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The New York Times reported that drug companies, insurers and pharmacies may “team up” to create effective monopolies. Company executives argue that this would be better for patients and would improve care and outcomes — however, nothing could be further than the truth. These conglomerates would further limit access and drive up costs. Many patients and physicians have found frustration when attempting to prescribe a particular medication ...

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