U.S. judge clears way for Maryland drug price-gouging law

Reuters, 30 September 2017
Author: Deena Beasley
“A U.S. District Court judge on Friday cleared the way for Maryland to implement the nation’s first law designed to penalize drugmakers for price gouging by denying the generic drug industry trade group’s request for an injunction.”
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‘His death still hurts’: the Pfizer anti-smoking drug ruled to have contributed to suicide

The Guardian, 15 September 2017
Author: Andrew McMillen
“When the retired Queensland schoolteacher Phoebe Morwood-Oldham started an online petition following her son’s suicide in April 2013, she could not have known that her insistence on asking hard questions of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies would lead to an Australian-first finding by a state coroner.”
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A doctor prescribed so many painkillers, she’s been charged with murdering her patients, authorities say

Washington Post, 24 June 2017
Author: Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
“Law enforcement agents aren’t just going after drug dealers and Mexican cartels — they’re also targeting pharmaceutical companies and doctors, who they say are irresponsibly flooding the nation with potent painkillers, and holding them responsible for overdose deaths.”
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Health and Public Policy to Facilitate Effective Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders Involving Illicit and Prescription Drugs: An American College of Physicians Position Paper

Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(10):733-736.
Authors: Ryan Crowley, Neil Kirschner, Andrew S. Dunn, Sue S. Bornstein
“Substance use disorders involving illicit and prescription drugs are a serious public health issue. In the United States, millions of individuals need treatment for substance use disorders but few receive it. The rising number of drug overdose deaths and the changing legal status of marijuana pose new challenges. In this position paper, the American College of Physicians maintains that substance use disorder is a treatable chronic medical condition and offers recommendations on expanding treatment options, the legal status of marijuana, addressing the opioid epidemic, insurance coverage of substance use disorders treatment, education and workforce, and public health interventions.”
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Are Pharmaceutical Companies to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?

The Atlantic, 2 June 2017
Author: Alana Semuels
“Who is responsible for this? Some attorneys general and advocates are now asking in court whether the pharmaceutical companies who marketed the drugs and downplayed their addictive nature can be held legally responsible for – and made to pay for the consequences of – the crisis.”
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Ohio Sues 5 Major Drug Companies For ‘Fueling Opioid Epidemic’

NPR, 31 May 2017
Author: Colin Dwyer
“The state of Ohio has sued five major drug manufacturers for their role in the opioid epidemic. In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, state Attorney General Mike DeWine alleges these five companies “helped unleash a health care crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the State of Ohio.”
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Canada eases steps to open supervised drug injection sites amid opioid crisis

The Guardian, 21 May 2017
Author: Ashifa Kassam
“Canada’s government has made it easier to open supervised drug injection sites across the country, offering communities a lifeline as they battle an opioid crisis that has claimed thousands of lives in recent years. New legislation passed this week streamlines the more than two dozen requirements previously needed to launch these facilities, which offer a medically supervised space and sterile equipment for people who use drugs intravenously.”
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Canada and eight US states have done it. Why can’t NSW legalise cannabis?

SMH, 24 April 2017
Author: Mehreen Faruqi
“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that will legalise and regulate cannabis use in Canada. This would make Canada the second country the world (after Uruguay) to legalise adult use of cannabis. This comes off the heels of some ground-breaking reforms that took place in November last year when California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada all voted to legalise and regulate cannabis use, joining Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. One in five Americans now live in a state where adult use of cannabis is legal or is in the process of being made legal. So why has the debate barely even begun in Australia?”
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Health Care Complaints Commission v West [2017] NSWCATOD 39

Decision date: 22 March 2017
“MEDICAL PRACTITIONER – inappropriate prescription of drugs of addiction – inadequate clinical records – admissions by respondent. Held- respondent guilty of professional misconduct -orders made cancelling registration and for payment of costs.”
Find decision here.