The Health News USA November 7 2017

  • Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration took the rare step of pressuring a drug company to stop selling an opioid painkiller that was widely abused. Before it halted sales of Opana ER, Endo Pharmaceuticals cut a deal with a competitor to split profits on a generic version of the drug still on the market. The head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, announced that his agency is reviewing data and will decide whether to take action on other versions of the drug.
  • According to a national survey released by the American Legion, more than 80% of veterans support legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana and would want to use it as a potential treatment option. The survey also showed 92% of veteran households support research into medical marijuana, including as a possible substitute for prescription opioids.
  • Fraud by Red Cross workers and others wasted at least $6 million meant to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The revelations follow an internal investigation of how the organization handled more than $124 million during the 2014-2016 epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/03/us/opana-er-followup/index.html

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration took the rare step of pressuring a drug company to stop selling an opioid painkiller that was widely abused. Before it halted sales of Opana ER, Endo Pharmaceuticals cut a deal with a competitor to split profits on a generic version of the drug still on the market. The head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, announced that his agency is reviewing data and will decide whether to take action on other versions of the drug.
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Endo voluntarily withdrew the original version of Opana ER in two thousand twelve, arguing that the drug was susceptible to abuse. But before it stopped selling the original version, Endo replaced it with a new version of Opana ER with a hard coating that made it harder to crush and snort. Drug abusers, however, quickly learned how to melt the new crush-resistant pill and inject it. Opana ER is more potent than either oxycodone or morphine. Abusers told researchers they preferred the drug because the high was so intense. Injecting Opana ER was linked to outbreaks of HIV, hepatitis C and a rare blood disorder. The FDA determined this summer that the risks of new version of Opana ER outweighed the benefits. But the agency did not reach any conclusions on the original version of the drug, including a generic version still on the market.

In declaring opioid addiction a national public health emergency, President Trump referred to  Opana ER as a “truly evil” opioid that was taken off the market. Endo said that it has no plans to relaunch the original version of Opana ER. However, Impax Laboratories has been selling a generic version of the original formulation of Opana ER since two thousand thirteen. Endo still holds the patent on the drug. In August, it announced a deal with Impax Laboratories to split profits on the generic version of original Opana ER — the same drug Endo said it pulled off the market for safety reasons.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/05/veterans-back-legalizing-medicinal-marijuana-in-american-legion-survey.html

According to a national survey released by the American Legion, more than eighty percent of veterans support legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana and would want to use it as a potential treatment option. The survey also showed ninety two percent of veteran households support research into medical marijuana, including as a possible substitute for prescription opioids. The telephone survey of the Legion’s two-million members was conducted from October eight to October ten by Five Corners Strategies, an independent public opinion research company, and had a margin of error of  three point forty three percent.
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The survey found bipartisan support for legalizing medicinal marijuana, with eighty eight percent of self-identified conservatives and ninety percent of self-identified liberals in agreement.

The Legion has previously called on the Drug Enforcement Agency to reclassify marijuana to recognize it as “a drug with potential medical value.” In August during the group’s national convention in Nevada, the group passed a resolution calling on the federal government to allow medical providers within the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss medical cannabis as a treatment option in states where medical marijuana is legal. At a news conference Thursday announcing the results of the study, Legion Executive Director Verna Jones said the group is “not advocating for recreational use of marijuana, but we are advocating for the removal of cannabis from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act so that more medical investigators can do research.” The removal of marijuana from the list of “Schedule One” drugs, which includes heroin and Ecstasy, would place it in a different category of drugs deemed to have no medical use.

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/red-cross-6-million-ebola-fight-stolen-through-fraud-n817701

Fraud by Red Cross workers and others wasted at least six million dollars meant to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  The revelations follow an internal investigation of how the organization handled more than one hundred twenty four million dollars during the two thousand fourteen to two thousand sixteen epidemic that killed more than eleven thousand people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The disease erupted in Guinea and quickly spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. The international aid response was initially slow, and money — once it arrived — was often disbursed quickly in the rush to purchase supplies and get aid workers into the field.

As much as two point thirteen million Swiss francs ( or two point thirteen million dollars ) disappeared as the result of “likely collusion” between Red Cross staff and employees at a Sierra Leonean bank, the investigation found. It is believed that the money was lost when they improperly fixed the exchange rate at the height of the epidemic. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said it was “outraged” by what it had uncovered, and was strengthening its efforts to fight corruption, including introducing cash spending limits in “high-risk settings.” It also plans to send trained auditors along with emergency operations teams. Other measures will include additional staff training and “the establishment of a dedicated and independent internal investigation function.”
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In Guinea, an estimated one point seventeen million Swiss francs (one point seventeen million dollars) disappeared because of fraudulent billing practices by a customs clearance service provider.  IFRC said that two other investigations there are pending.

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