CDC sets its policy goals for 2016

My comment:

It’s hard to comprehend the CDC’s use of statistics. For instance, you’ve reported here that: “The CDC said as many as 23,000 Americans died from these largely preventable infections in 2015.”

Yet, in 2007, the CDC said:  “We estimate that 1.7 million HAIs occurred in U.S. hospitals in 2002 and were associated with approximately 99,000 deaths.”

And currently, the CDC says:  “About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.”

Media bias, no fact-checking, just spread the CDC’s message. Is this what reporting has come to?

For the life of me, I cannot understand why the CDC isn’t concerned about the increase in suicide rates. After all, more people die from suicide than from opioids. I guess there’s a lot more government support and funding for the opioid war, as opposed to the treatment of chronic pain or the prevention of suicide. That’s not only sad, it’s shameful and pathetic. And downright depressing.

Government agencies keep making it harder and harder for pain patients, along with anyone needing treatment for any level of pain — leaving millions of people suffering without hope. I suppose some people believe that in 5 or 10 years, the results of the opioid war will be mostly positive. Stopping thousands of people from the potential of addiction, while tens of millions of people suffer with unrelieved and untreated pain. Gee, what could go wrong?

Follow the money

Are you curious about the new treatments for pain that may be coming soon to a city near you? Just follow the money:

Attendance is by invitation only. There’s no trade show floor. And, good luck tracking down information on speakers and schedules if you’re not invited — a public website for the event doesn’t even exist. Safe to say, this is not your typical conference or trade show.

The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, to be held January 12-15, 2015, continues to be one of the life science industry’s largest and most frenzied conferences of the year. It reliably draws thousands of investors and executives across the healthcare sector to the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco as hundreds of companies present their latest innovations and dreams in an attempt to pique the interest of venture capitalists and potential partners…

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals to Present at the 34th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on January 12, 2016

ACADIA also has clinical-stage programs for glaucoma and, in collaboration with Allergan, Inc., for chronic pain…

DUBLIN, Dec. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), a leading global pharmaceutical company, announced today that VIBERZI™ (eluxadoline), the company’s first-in-class treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), is now available by prescription in the U.S.

Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Nevro is a global medical device company focused on providing innovative products that improve the quality of life of patients suffering from debilitating chronic pain. Nevro has developed and commercialized the Senza spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system, an evidence-based neuromodulation platform for the treatment of chronic pain. The Senza system is the only SCS system that delivers Nevro’s proprietary HF10 therapy…

Nektar Therapeutics has a robust R&D pipeline in pain, oncology, hemophilia and other therapeutic areas. In the area of pain, Nektar has an exclusive worldwide license agreement with AstraZeneca for MOVANTIK™ (naloxegol), the first FDA-approved once-daily oral peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) medication for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC), in adult patients with chronic, non-cancer pain. The product is also approved in the European Union as MOVENTIG® (naloxegol) and is indicated for adult patients with OIC who have had an inadequate response to laxatives. The AstraZeneca agreement also includes NKTR-119, an earlier stage development program that is a co-formulation of MOVANTIK and an opioid. NKTR-181, a wholly-owned mu-opioid analgesic molecule for chronic pain conditions, is in Phase 3 development…

Efficacy and Safety Study of NKTR-181 in Opioid-Naive Subjects With Low Back Pain

NKTR-181 is a novel mu-opioid analgesic investigational drug candidate created using Nektar’s small molecule polymer conjugate technology. In preclinical studies, NKTR-181 exhibits a reduced rate of entry into the central nervous system (CNS) providing effective pain relief with fewer CNS-related side effects, such as euphoria, sedation and respiratory depression. The unique molecular design of the polymer conjugate also prevents conversion of NKTR-181 into free opioid or an abusable form of an opioid. As a result, NKTR-181 has the potential to be a highly effective analgesic with a favorable safety profile and reduced potential for abuse, misuse and diversion.

Under comments:

January 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm
Antagonistic to the pleasure receptors? So no pain, but you can’t get rewards even for exercise, intimate relations or a job well done? Sounds more like torture. Not buying it.

Do you work for Walgreens or Rite Aid?

Some things are just inevitable. Seasons change. Marvel releases superhero movies. Walgreens thinks about buying Express Scripts. The idea of the pharmacy mega-chain buying America’s largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is one of the longer-running will-they/won’t-they deals in health care M&A…

Walgreens, the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain, has been an aggressive dealmaker, buying a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots in 2012, then combining fully at the end of 2014. It now intends to buy Rite Aid for $9.4 billion, a deal it hopes will close in the second half of this year…

Walgreens-Rite Aid deal could lead to elimination of 3,000 stores

Rite Aid stores are likely to bear the brunt of the closings. “Who will win in those instances? In most cases, it will be the Walgreens location simply because Walgreens sales per square foot are typically higher.”

100,000 people die each year from hospital infections

Long sleeves, white coats, ties, stethoscopes, computer keyboards, doorknobs and jewelry can all harbor nasty stuff. And keep in mind that hospital acquired infections are a huge problem. The CDC has estimated that 100,000 people die in hospitals each year as a result of infections they caught in these institutions…

“After all, we know that these coats can be covered with pathogens, including drug-resistant ones, which may be transmitted to patients. They are cleaned infrequently: In a survey of physicians, nearly 58 percent said they laundered their white coats monthly or never. Less than 3 percent washed them daily or every other day. What is the harm in adopting a ‘bare below the elbows’ policy for health care professionals — as has been done in the United Kingdom — to reduce the chance of transmission?” …

This attitude is reminiscent of the 19th century. In the mid 1800s childbirth was extremely dangerous. Something called childbed fever killed many women shortly after childbirth. In those days doctors did not know about germs.

A physician researcher named Ignaz Semmelweis was practicing medicine at the Vienna General Hospital. He noted that women experienced a much higher death rate after a medical student delivered a baby compared to a midwife.

Dr. Semmelweis discovered that the students were dissecting cadavers in a room next to the maternity wards. They rarely washed their hands after dissections or between deliveries…

Dr. Semmelweiss suspected that hand washing might make a big difference. He came up with the radical idea that medical students should disinfect their hands after their anatomy labs with the cadavers and between patients. After he instituted this hand hygiene practice the death rate after childbirth dropped dramatically. He didn’t know why the practice worked, he just knew it did.

One might imagine that Dr. Semmelweiss would have become a hero within the medical community and that his discovery would have been quickly adopted. On the contrary. Dr. Semmelweiss became a pariah. His colleagues rejected and ridiculed his research. He was forced into an insane asylum where he soon died. His plea that doctors wash their hands before delivering babies or touching patients was ignored for decades…

Under comments:


As a pharmacist, here are some additional reasons that I feel white coats should be abandoned.

White coats clearly intimidate many people as evidenced by the well-recognized phenomenon of “white coat hypertension.” In our fast-paced managed care system, patients are lucky to be with their physicians for fifteen minutes. What if the physician prescribes blood pressure drugs to patients who, in reality, have only “white coat hypertension”? That would surely be substandard medical care but I doubt that it is rare. Once patients are prescribed blood pressure drugs, they often remain on those drugs for the rest of their lives, with any associated side effects.

During my career as a pharmacist, I preferred not to wear a white coat because it seemed to increase the distance between me and the customers for whom I was filling prescriptions…

Drug war or race war?

(CNN) Maine Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday used racially-charged language to accuse people from outside his state of fueling a substance abuse epidemic, then fleeing home after “they impregnate a young, white girl.” …

Shame on the Huffington Post

My comment:

Let’s start with the fact that 4.2 million people is less than 1.5% of the population.

“This increase in prescriptions has not corresponded to any improvement in pain control or disability outcomes. What it has clearly corresponded to is the deadly march of heroin across America.”

Pain medications are not a cure, and since many pain patients are still able to work, I would think that would qualify as improvement. The reason there is a connection between opioids and heroin is because of the opioid war. Restrict access to drugs that decrease pain and there will be plenty of people who find illegal substitutes.

And what the hell do you know about pain management, pain control, or disability outcomes? You work as a psychiatrist in Pennsylvania. And what do you know about addiction? Because if you think certain drugs are responsible for addiction, then you’re living in the 1980s.

“In any case, the 25.3 million Americans who struggle with intractable chronic pain…”

From the NIH analysis: “Nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) experience severe levels of pain.” Did you forget about them?

“Chronic pain may arise from unavoidable injuries or illnesses in some cases but in most it is a culmination of obesity, lack of exercise and not putting in the hard work necessary to deal with acute pain and injury.”

Maybe the views of the writer of this article have something to do with the fact that he’s from Pakistan. Say, are women allowed to vote in your country yet?

From 2013: “Fears over the safety of women voting in next week’s elections in Pakistan are rising after letters have been circulated in regions of the country warning men not to allow their wives, sisters and daughters out to the polling stations. In an increasingly fraught and violent runup to the 11 May vote, leaflets are appearing stating that it is ‘un-Islamic’ for women to participate in democracy.”

I am disgusted with the Huffington Post for allowing so many ignorant articles to be posted about the opioid war. Shame on all of you.