It’s a common scenario: a patient shows up to my office lugging a bagful of over-the-counter supplements, defiantly informing me that they “don’t believe in prescription drugs.” In the very next breath, they present a lab slip with a list of bloodwork that their alternative medicine doctor wants me to order to help diagnose their myriad symptoms. I’ll admit, my initial natural reaction in this situation was a feeling of annoyance ...

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For those of you who have been following my story since this summer of 2018, you will remember that I quit my nine-to-five job to pursue a career in public speaking on a more semi-permanent basis. I started working essentially full-time with a national telemedicine company. I am extremely excited about the opportunity and very satisfied with the options it has given me to stay home — while I complete ...

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Who was Ryan Haight? Ryan Haight was an 18-year-old honor student from La Mesa, California who died on February 12, 2001, from an overdose of hydrocodone ordered from an online doctor he never saw — and shipped to his home from a rogue online pharmacy during the beginning of the opioid epidemic. The pharmacist, Clayton Fuchs, filled ...

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Imagine yourself as a patient burdened with a chronic disease that necessitated daily medication adherence to function. Now imagine that medication has become so stigmatized by society that you feel judged and ashamed every time that you use it. That’s the world that individuals with opioid use disorder are forced to live in when they’re prescribed methadone or buprenorphine to get through the day. Without these medications,
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One of the most important factors on patients’ minds is affordability of care. According to a recent McKinsey study, 72 percent of consumers are concerned about at least one kind of health care expense, be it related to health insurance, routine medical procedures, end-of-life care or otherwise. As it pertains to prescriptions, patients carry these affordability concerns from their providers’ offices to the pharmacy. More often than not, ...

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A contract is an agreement stipulating the rights and obligations of the signatories. In most cases, a contract is consulted when a dispute arises. When all is proceeding swimmingly, the contract remains dormant in a file drawer or in a digital file. In general, decent people resolve differences in the old-fashioned way utilizing the twin arcane legal techniques of reasonableness and compromise. Remember them? Yes, it is possible to settle ...

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This year Oklahoma voters made a clear choice to legalize medical marijuana, joining thirty other states that permit cannabis for medicinal use. Unsurprisingly, immediately in the vote’s aftermath, patients began asking me to "prescribe" medical marijuana licenses, as the new law stipulates users must have as a precondition for legal purchase. The new law does not, however, specify qualifying diagnoses for which medical marijuana might be clinically indicated. My answer ...

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No news is good news. Especially for hospitals in the middle of the opioid epidemic. Recently, the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) agreed to a civil penalty in the amount of $4.3 million for failing to prevent opioid drug diversion and federal recordkeeping violations as a result of a DEA investigation. The headline from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan read: “Eastern District of ...

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While walking through the duty-free at Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC, I happened upon the price tag of an imported French purse. Looking around, I wondered how many travelers could afford a $2,000 handbag.At the gate, I found a seat and logged on to the internet, where I happened upon a story about the CEO of Nostrum Laboratories, Nirmal Mulye. In an interview, Mr. Mulye explained why he raised the ...

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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 ...

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