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Prescription Drug

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SCIENCE
October 31, 2013 | By Monte Morin
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it was stepping up efforts to prevent and address prescription drug shortages, calling the shortfalls a significant public health threat. In addition to expanding early reporting requirements for drug manufacturers, the FDA said it was launching a smartphone app that would give consumers instant information on pharmaceutical shortages. "The complex issues of drug shortages continues to be a high priority for the FDA, and early notification is a critical tool that helps mitigate or prevent looming shortages," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
April 16, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Free samples of prescription drugs may seem like a great deal for patients. But even when doctors think they're doing patients a favor by handing out the freebies, the real beneficiaries are the drug manufacturers, according to new research in the journal JAMA Dermatology. Medical groups have grown increasingly wary about free drug samples, and they've already been banned by Kaiser Permanente, many academic medical centers, the Veterans Health Administration, the U.S. military and plenty of private medical clinics.
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OPINION
November 15, 2012
If one doctor's prescriptions might be connected to the unnecessary deaths of multiple patients over several years, the state should be asking questions. Times reporters Scott Glover and Lisa Girion analyzed 3,733 prescription drug-related deaths in four Southern California counties, revealing that just 71 doctors - one-tenth of 1% in those counties - had written prescriptions in 17% of such fatalities over six years. One doctor profiled in the stories published Sunday had prescribed medications for 16 patients who subsequently overdosed, according to coroner's reports.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | Lisa Girion and Scott Glover
Doctors are fueling the nation's prescription drug epidemic and represent the primary source of narcotic painkillers for chronic abusers, according to a new government study. The finding challenges a widely held belief that has long guided policymakers: That the epidemic is caused largely by abusers getting their drugs without prescriptions, typically from friends and family. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study, said the research showed the need for greater focus on doctors who are "problem prescribers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover
The ad on Craigslist was blunt. It offered drugs for money, just like a street corner dealer. The seller was hawking Norco, a popular painkiller, for $6. "Had a left over bottle from a car accident," the anonymous seller posted. "I'm not the police," the seller wrote. "You shouldn't be either. " If two lawmakers have their way, Craigslist - the popular online marketplace - will get rid of such ads. If the website fails to so, they warned, it may be getting a lot more attention from the police.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2013 | By Scott Glover
Two bills aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths in California won unanimous approval in the Senate on Tuesday and were headed for the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. The proposed legislation, inspired in part by a series of investigative reports in The Times, would help authorities better track prescriptions for painkillers and other addictive narcotics and allow for enhanced scrutiny of deaths involving such drugs. SB 62 by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) would require coroners to report prescription overdose deaths to the Medical Board of California for review.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2012 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
The chairman of a state Senate committee that oversees the Medical Board of California said Monday that he would introduce a bill requiring coroners to report all prescription drug deaths to the agency - a move aimed at helping authorities identify doctors whose prescribing practices may be harming patients. Sen. Curren D. Price Jr. (D-Los Angeles), responding to a Times' report that authorities have failed to recognize how often people overdose on medications prescribed by their doctors, said the medical board needed coroners' reports to improve its oversight.
NEWS
August 9, 2010
Consumers curious about their medications' effects, side effects or potential interactions should take care before signing on the line indicated -- usually with no explanation -- by the pharmacist. It rarely seems to mean "Yes, I successfully navigated the often-confusing prescription-obtaining and prescription-buying process and am now ready to absorb all the wisdom and warnings that this paid professional has to impart!" No. The very tiny print next to that "sign here" line usually says something to the effect of: "I am not remotely interested in learning more about this mysterious chemical I'm about to ingest, squirt into or rub onto my body.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2010 | By Andrew Blankstein
The California attorney general's office said Wednesday that it has arrested a suspect in an alleged prescription drug ring that Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said provided illegal drugs to actor Corey Haim. Haim was found unresponsive last week at his mother's apartment. He later died at a hospital in what Los Angeles Police Department officials said appeared to be an accidental overdose. Brown announced Friday that his office was investigating a "massive" drug ring that provided prescriptions for Haim.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion, Los Angeles Times
An Orange County doctor featured in a Times investigative report because 16 of his patients fatally overdosed on drugs he prescribed has had another patient death, according to recently released coroner's records. Wayne Oviatt, a patient of Dr. Van Vu of Huntington Beach, fatally overdosed in January. The onetime Mammoth "ski bum," as his brother called him, suffered from chronic pain. He was known to abuse his medications and mix them with alcohol, and obtained drugs from various doctors, coroner's records state.
SCIENCE
October 31, 2013 | By Monte Morin
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it was stepping up efforts to prevent and address prescription drug shortages, calling the shortfalls a significant public health threat. In addition to expanding early reporting requirements for drug manufacturers, the FDA said it was launching a smartphone app that would give consumers instant information on pharmaceutical shortages. "The complex issues of drug shortages continues to be a high priority for the FDA, and early notification is a critical tool that helps mitigate or prevent looming shortages," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
BUSINESS
October 21, 2013 | David Lazarus
Think you can keep a medical condition secret from life insurers by paying cash for prescription meds? Think again. A for-profit service called ScriptCheck exists to rat you out regardless of how diligent you are in trying to keep a sensitive matter under wraps. ScriptCheck, offered by ExamOne, a subsidiary of Quest Diagnostics, is yet another example of data mining - using sophisticated programs to scour databases in search of people's personal information and then selling that info to interested parties.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
Ventura County authorities have arrested 21 people in connection with alleged sales of prescription drugs via Craigslist.  The arrests, announced this week, took place in recent months and stemmed from illegal sales of drugs like Adderall, OxyContin and Xanax, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. Among those arrested was a man who allegedly sold pain medication prescribed for his cancer-patient father, a woman who authorities said drove from Fontana to Simi Valley with two children in the car for a drug transaction, and a 19-year-old who allegedly sold Suboxone, a narcotic, just filling a prescription for it. About half of those arrested got their prescriptions from an Oxnard physician, 63-year-old Kiansi Boni of Camarillo, who was also arrested, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Friday aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse but vetoed a third that could have helped the state's medical board identify reckless doctors whose patients died on pills they prescribed. The three bills, which garnered strong bipartisan support, were spurred by a series of investigative reports in The Times that linked drugs prescribed by doctors to nearly half the prescription-involved overdose deaths in Southern California from 2006 through 2011.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover
The ad on Craigslist was blunt. It offered drugs for money, just like a street corner dealer. The seller was hawking Norco, a popular painkiller, for $6. "Had a left over bottle from a car accident," the anonymous seller posted. "I'm not the police," the seller wrote. "You shouldn't be either. " If two lawmakers have their way, Craigslist - the popular online marketplace - will get rid of such ads. If the website fails to so, they warned, it may be getting a lot more attention from the police.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2013
Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Scott Glover about three bills related to drug prescriptions awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown's signature. Last week, state lawmakers passed an ambitious slate of reforms aimed at giving authorities better tools and broader powers to crack down on doctors who recklessly prescribe narcotic painkillers and other commonly abused drugs. The three bills, which garnered strong bipartisan support, await a signature from Brown  that would make them law. Brown, who as attorney general railed against prescription drug abuse and pill-pushing doctors, declined through a spokesman to say how he would respond to the bills.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 2013 | By Lisa Girion and Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times
The Medical Board of California on Friday embraced a host of reforms aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and reducing overdose deaths but balked at a proposal to strip it of its authority to investigate physician misconduct. The board, meeting in Los Angeles, voted to support proposed legislation that would upgrade the state's prescription drug monitoring system, require coroners to report prescription drug overdose deaths to the board, and give the panel new power to halt a doctor's prescribing in some cases.
NATIONAL
July 22, 2002 | Ronald Brownstein
Helping more seniors afford prescription drugs is a worthwhile national goal. But is it the only worthwhile goal? Senate Democrats this week are pushing for a vote on a proposal that elevates prescription drugs for seniors over all other domestic needs. The plan is so expensive that if it ever passed, it could squeeze out the party's other priorities--such as education or health coverage for the uninsured--for years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2013 | By Scott Glover and Lisa Girion
Since her son Joey fatally overdosed in late 2009, April Rovero has warned schoolchildren, coeds, cops and congressmen that it was too easy for the 21-year-old college student to get the prescription drugs that killed him. In speeches from Sacramento to Washington, she complained bitterly that authorities had suspected a Rowland Heights doctor of reckless prescribing for years but did little to stop her. Rovero's son was one of at least eight...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2013 | By Scott Glover
Two bills aimed at combating prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths in California won unanimous approval in the Senate on Tuesday and were headed for the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown. The proposed legislation, inspired in part by a series of investigative reports in The Times, would help authorities better track prescriptions for painkillers and other addictive narcotics and allow for enhanced scrutiny of deaths involving such drugs. SB 62 by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) would require coroners to report prescription overdose deaths to the Medical Board of California for review.
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