Prior authorizations (PAs) have become increasingly burdensome for providers — they contribute to 92 percent of care delays and an estimated 77 million are submitted manually each year. In fact, the process has become so burdensome that many physicians get fed up with the process end up writing for less-effective prescriptions because they know the preferred drug will require a prior ...

Read more...

September 28, 2018 marks 90 years since Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin as an effective antimicrobial which would soon save millions of lives. He warned soon afterwards that unless we used penicillin judiciously, we would see antibiotic resistance, and he was right. With decades of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, we have dug ourselves a deep hole of antimicrobial resistance, and inaccurate penicillin allergies is but one shovel used to put us ...

Read more...

A doctor writes prescription, pharmacist fills prescription, insurance covers prescription. Simple, right? But that’s not the way it works anymore. Some changes are good. Gone are the cryptic abbreviations and illegible handwriting -- replaced by computer printed scripts, or better yet scripts magically transmitted via the ether. But along with fewer errors there’s even less transparency on pricing and coverage. Patients, who haven’t been to pharmacy school and couldn’t possibly decode the pages of ...

Read more...

In 2016, dispatchers in my hometown of Mansfield — a Rust Belt city in rural North Central Ohio — fielded over 363 overdose-related police calls. The community organized an opiate response team, created to help individuals following an overdose, which could only respond to those experiencing their second overdose. Around the country, small towns and rural communities are making heroic efforts to prevent opioid-related overdose deaths. But matching action by ...

Read more...

What is it? Kratom is a powdered herbal supplement derived from the leaves of a tropical evergreen tree that is native to Southeast Asia and is usually taken orally but can also be brewed into teas. It is commonly used by consumers as an alternative medicine to self-treat opioid addiction and chronic pain.  The leaves contain two compounds, mitragynine and 7-a-hydroxymitragyine, which interact with various receptors in the brain. At low doses the ...

Read more...

Many people seem to believe that the Z-pak possesses magical qualities. Patients come in requesting it for the common cold, because it worked for them in the past. Not only do many believe it cures the common cold, but they think it can treat any infection. Have a urinary tract infection? Just ask your doctor to prescribe a Z-pak! Sniffles got you under the weather? Do the same! Anyone who believes ...

Read more...

Houston Chronicle reporter Craig Hlavaty recently treated readers to a first-person account of getting an intravenous (IV) vitamin infusion inside a van parked outside his house. The article, “Feeling the drip, drip, drip of the mobile IV craze,” related how a needle was inserted into his arm, “just where a tattooed lightning bolt strikes.” Hlavaty extolled the cool rush of liquid into his veins: After a few minutes, a great euphoria hits ...

Read more...

My patient, a rugged sixty year old with massively muscular forearms, gray chest hair at the V of his denim shirt, and a voice that suggested years of liquor and unfiltered cigarettes, lowered his voice and leaned forward. “I’m not usually scared of anything, but for three nights now, ever since I started taking the Levaquin for this pneumonia, I have had the most horrific nightmares. I can’t even talk about ...

Read more...

A lot has been written about Suboxone, the buprenorphine treatment drug. For many, Suboxone acts as an effective medication to treat opioid addiction. For others, it’s a highly-valued street drug that is commonly diverted and misused. To understand and acknowledge the darker side of Suboxone we have to look back at its history over the past 16 years. History of Suboxone Suboxone was first approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat ...

Read more...

As a primary care doctor who cares for many patients with opioid-use disorder, I am invested in timely and effective strategies to curb our nation’s opioid epidemic. Because so many instances of opioid addiction and overdoses begin with or involve commonly prescribed opioids, we need multiple strategies that address the significant harms associated with prescription opioids. I am skeptical of one strategy, however: The President’s Commission and the Food and ...

Read more...

Most Popular

Join 141,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 141,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image