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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Medical Board of Australia v Griffiths (Review and Regulation)

Decision date: 9 June 2017
“Review and Regulation List – medical practitioner – inappropriate prescription and medical treatment – prescription of opioids and benzodiazepines – inappropriate treatment of persons with whom shared a close personal relationship – breach of S8 permit obligations – agreed facts and findings and joint proposed determinations – Medical Practice Act 1994 (Vic) s 3(1), Health Professions Registration Act 2005 (Vic) s 3(1), Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Victoria) Act 2009 (Vic) s 5(a).”
Find order here.

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.

WHO Launches Global Effort to Halve Medication-Related Errors in 5 Years

WHO, 29 March 2017
“WHO today launched a global initiative to reduce severe, avoidable medication-associated harm in all countries by 50% over the next 5 years. The Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety aims to address the weaknesses in health systems that lead to medication errors and the severe harm that results. It lays out ways to improve the way medicines are prescribed, distributed and consumed, and increase awareness among patients about the risks associated with the improper use of medication.”
Find news release here.

EU recommends suspending hundreds of drugs tested by Indian firm

Reuters, 25 March 2017
Author: Ben Hirschler
“Europe’s medicines regulator has recommended the suspension of more than 300 generic drug approvals and drug applications due to “unreliable” tests conducted by Indian contract research firm Micro Therapeutic Research Labs.”
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Prescription Drug Regulation, Promotion, And Advocacy Has Gotten More Vexing In 2017

Health Affairs Blog, 23 March 2017
Author: Jerry Avorn
“Early 2017 has been one of the most interesting and challenging times for anyone concerned with medication regulation and evidence-based prescribing — as well as for the patients and health care professionals who will be so heavily impacted recent policy changes.”
Find article here.

Pediatric Drug Formulations — Unintended Consequences of Legislation

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:795-796
Authors: Luke A. Probst, Thomas R. Welch
“The media have been replete with reports of ways in which the pharmaceutical industry has been able to increase revenue from medications that have been available for decades. We report a new variation of particular consequence to pediatricians and children.”
Find letter here.

MEDICAL BOARD OF AUSTRALIA and SINGH [2017] WASAT 33

Decision delivered: 23 February 2017
“The Medical Board’s allegations pertained to Dr Singh’s general practice which included failing to keep proper records, prescribing drugs or other treatments when there was no therapeutic basis and prescribing some drugs and treatments which had potential adverse effects.The Medical Board of Australia also made the same allegations in relation to Dr Singh’s treatment of two specific patients.”
Find decision here.

A Call For The FDA To Raise The Bar For Clinical Trials Is Flawed

Forbes, 22 February 2017
Author: John LaMattina
“As the new Trump administration begins to take shape, there are concerns that new leadership at the FDA will call for less bureaucracy and red tape, thereby lowering the bar for new drug approvals. The view is that onerous regulations are preventing life-saving medications from getting to those who most need them. Lowering the standards for drug approvals may indeed allow for earlier patient access to drugs but, as has been discussed here in the past, liberalization of current regulations would be a mistake. Such actions will unleash drugs that will ultimately prove to be ineffective and, in some cases, harmful rather than beneficial.”
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Exclusive: Canada seeks warnings on prescription painkillers amid rising deaths

Reuters, 23 January 2017
Author: Anna Mehler Paperny
“As deaths from powerful painkillers continue to rise, Canada is pursuing unprecedented measures to curb their use, including requiring cigarette-style warning stickers on every prescription, Health Minister Jane Philpott told Reuters.”
Find article here.