Prescription drug abuse

Health
5:00 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Rogers Wants FDA to Pull Painkiller Off the Market

Zohydro is coming under fire from some Congressional lawmakers, including Rep. Hal Rogers of Somerset.

A Kentucky Congressman is pushing legislation to force the withdrawal of a powerful painkiller from the market.

Somerset Republican Hal Rogers says the drug will only worsen the nation’s prescription drug abuse problems. Rogers describes Zohydro as a “crushable, pure hydrocodone pill” that threatens to become the next Oxycontin, another crushable painkiller that has been widely abused across the nation.

The Courier-Journal reports a single Zohydro pill has up to five times more hydrocodone that medications combined with non-addictive drugs, such as Vicodin.

In addition to the U.S. House legislation, a similar measure has been introduced in the Senate.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has defended her agency’s approval of Zohydro, saying that the drug doesn’t contain the same risk of potentially fatal liver damage that is found in other pain-killing narcotics.

Over 40 consumer watchdog groups have petitioned the FDA to pull Zohydro off the market.

Health
2:38 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Lawsuit Filed by Kentucky County Against Oxycontin Maker Settled

Oxycontin abuse became so pervasive in parts of eastern Kentucky that the drug was dubbed "hillbilly heroin."

An eastern Kentucky official has announced a settlement in a lawsuit over the drug OxyContin.

The Appalachian News-Express cited a statement from Pike Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford in reporting that drug maker Purdue Pharma agreed to pay $4 million to settle a lawsuit over abuse of the narcotic.

Rutherford said he couldn't give further details about the settlement due to terms of the agreement.

The county initially filed the lawsuit in 2007 and asked for damages the community suffered after the company marketed OxyContin as a safer alternative to other pain medicine.

The drug became so pervasive in eastern Kentucky, it was dubbed "hillbilly heroin."

Rutherford indicated in the statement that he was pleased with terms of the settlement.

"Finally, Pike County Government will have the funds to make a difference in drug addiction," Rutherford said. "We can now establish the Pike County Re-Entry Partnership for people convicted of drug violations. It has taken years to get done. Our attorney, Gary C. Johnson, was passionate and brought this about."

The goal of the Pike County Re-Entry Partnership would be to rehabilitate people who are addicted to drugs.

Health
8:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Beshear Set to Sign Into Law Changes to Kentucky's Prescription Drug Rules

Much-called-for changes to Kentucky's prescription drug law are on their way to the governor.

The Senate on Monday passed the final version of a bill that would loosen the law's restrictions to accommodate the seriously ill and elderly, groups that were subjected to the same scrutiny as would-be prescription drug traffickers. The vote was 36-0. The House passed the proposal last week.

The law requires doctors, dentists, optometrists, registered nurses and podiatrists to check their patients' drug histories on the state's prescription monitoring system, known as KASPER, before writing prescriptions. The bill's changes would exempt patients in hospitals and hospital care as well as people receiving cancer treatment, among others.

"This just went back to some practical common sense things," Senate President Robert Stivers told reporters after the vote.

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Health
12:42 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Pain Clinic Owner Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering in Kentucky

A man who owned pain clinics in Florida and Ohio has pleaded guilty in Kentucky to a federal charge of conspiracy to launder money. The U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement that 38-year-old Jody L. Robinson of Portsmouth, Ohio, entered the plea in federal court in Covington.

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Health
3:49 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Governor Beshear Urges More Cooperation from Other States in Drug Fight

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is encouraging his peers to join him in fighting prescription pill abuse. Beshear sent that message Tuesday at a prescription pill conference in Florida sponsored by Operation UNITE.

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