opioid

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Kentucky’s attorney general wants the state to stop investing taxpayer dollars and retirement contributions in companies that have profited from the opioid crisis. As Lisa Autry reports from member station WKYU, it’s Andy Beshear’s latest attempt to punish the makers and distributors of highly addictive painkillers.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing Walgreens, saying the company helped fuel the opioid epidemic by failing to monitor large shipments of pain pills throughout the state. 

It's latest of several lawsuits Beshear has filed against opioid distributors and manufacturers. Beshear said Walgreens failed to report “suspiciously large orders” it received for prescription pain pills. 

Wikimedia Commons

A Hepatitis A outbreak growing in the Louisville area since last summer reached a new peak recently with a travel advisory from Indiana health officials. They told Hoosiers heading to Kentucky to get a Hep A vaccine.

Soon, Kentucky’s Acting Commissioner for Public Health Dr. Jeffrey Howard was pushing back.

Istock

 

Kentucky advance practice nurses got a big win in 2014. For the first time, they were able to prescribe routine medications, like antibiotics and blood pressure meds, to patients after spending four years collaborating with a doctor. This applied to…“nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialist…”

That was Jessica Estes , a nurse practitioner near Owensboro. She’s also the president of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners & Nurse-Midwives.

So this was a big win for these nurses. Nurse practitioners could basically set up their own shops - free from having to work with a doctor - but only if they didn’t prescribe controlled drugs, like opiates. They still have to have an agreement with a doctor indefinitely to prescribe those controlled drugs.

“We are now finding that APRNs are finding difficulty securing a collaborator , and they have to be of the same or a similar specialty, and licensed in Kentucky. And it’s creating some barriers.”

This ‘collaborative prescriptive agreement’ is a piece of paper, a form if you will. Doctors sign off on it. And every year, those doctors have the option of renewing that collaborative agreement.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing San Francisco-based drug distributor McKesson Corporation for allegedly “flooding” the commonwealth with opioids.    

“McKesson had a duty to report when it ships large or suspicious amounts of opioids to a state or region. They knew that their shipments to Kentucky were excessive, even grossly excessive. But they simply sent them any ways and didn’t notify the authorities," Beshear said.

Aaron Payne | Ohio Valley ReSource

Imagine living and working somewhere designed to fit a couple hundred people. Now picture that same space crammed with twice that number. Madison County, Kentucky, Jailer Doug Thomas doesn’t have to imagine it. He lives it.

“I’m doing all that I can with what I have to work with, which is not a lot,” he said. “Because we’re a 184 bed facility with almost 400 people.”

 

Stu Johnson

The Lexington-Fayette government is joining 34 other Kentucky counties in suing close to two dozen wholesale drug distributors and manufacturers. 

Mayor Jim Gray announced the opioid-related federal lawsuit Thursday.


Brian Burkhart

Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency.

On this week's show, we discuss the meaning of that declaration and its potential impact on Kentucky.


Ohio Valley reSource

The Trump administration’s announcement Thursday that the opioid crisis is a national public health emergency was not news to first responders in Madison County.


Courtesy White House Office of the First Lady

EDITOR's NOTE: This story has been updated to include new information regarding the timing of an emergency declaration.

Many lawmakers from the Ohio Valley region are expected at the White House Thursday as President Donald Trump delivers an address on the opioid crisis. 

It is still not clear when the president will unveil a long-awaited emergency declaration on the epidemic. 


Stu Johnson

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is once again offering free Naloxone kits. 

The first official distribution of the drug used to reverse opioid overdoses is scheduled for this Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 


Courtesy WFPL.

When health care and law enforcement officials met recently at a health policy forum in Lexington, Kentucky, to share ideas about the opioid crisis, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear listed some groups that have benefited from money won in a 2015 settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin.

Cheri Lawson

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Kentucky among the three states with the highest rates of death due to drug overdose.

While there’s no easy answer,  officials who run a Northern Kentucky jail believe they have a program that could be part of the solution, using medication-assisted treatment.


Stu Johnson

Twice a month, Lexington area citizens who have lost sons, brothers or other family members to drug overdoses gather together.

While lacking in formality, their gatherings always provide a family atmosphere for those experiencing Life After Loss.


Voices of Recovery and Hope on Eastern Standard

Aug 22, 2017
Eastern Standard

Saturday August 26, 2017 is Overdose Awareness Day in Lexington. 

On this week's Eastern Standard we'll discuss opioid addiction, overdoses and recovery and meet some of the "Voices of Recovery and Hope" in Central Kentucky.    


Rebecca Kiger

The Trump administration’s top health official backed away from a presidential commission’s proposal to declare a national public health emergency to address the opioid crisis.

An emergency declaration could have big implications for the Ohio Valley, a region with some of the country’s highest addiction and overdose rates.

The top recommendation from President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis was for the president to declare the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.   


Glynis Board/Ohio Valley ReSource

If you’ve ever enjoyed a Budget Saver twin popsicle on a hot summer day, you can thank the employees of the Ziegenfelder frozen treat factory in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Floor operator Sonny Baxter keeps the line of popsicles going in the cherry-scented worksite.  

 


Trump administration officials have been visiting parts of the country affected by the opioid addiction crisis, including the Ohio Valley region. The administration called it a “listening tour,” and they got an earful in events marked by protests and controversies.


Doctors will only be able to prescribe Kentuckians a three-day supply of opioid painkillers under House Bill 333, which now awaits the governor’s signature.

Opioid High: Students Face A Different Kind of Test

Sep 12, 2016
Aaron Payne | Ohio Valley ReSource

t’s not just about notebooks and pencil boxes anymore: the opioid epidemic means back-to-school supplies now include things like emergency overdose treatments and drug prevention plans.

Many schools in the Ohio Valley region are using random drug testing despite doubts from addiction treatment experts about whether the tests really work to deter abuse.

 

A Tragedy, Then Testing