Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Narcan Carries Its Own Addiction

I'll give you one gue$$ as to what it could be:

"State questions rise in overdose drug price; Naloxone vital in emergency efforts" by Brian MacQuarrie Globe Staff  April 20, 2015

Attorney General Maura Healey is demanding that companies selling naloxone in Massachusetts explain why the cost of the drug, which is used to reverse heroin overdoses, has skyrocketed since former governor Deval Patrick declared a public health emergency a year ago.

Ummm, price gouging via supply and demand and market forces?

The drug, often marketed under the brand name Narcan, has become a critical tool for emergency workers who use it to revive overdose victims. Without Narcan, thousands of overdoses during the past few years would have resulted in deaths, authorities have said.

To help ensure that distributors are not taking advantage of a sudden surge in demand, Healey’s office last week asked the distributors to provide detailed records of all naloxone sales to public entities in Massachusetts since April 1, 2014, less than a week after Patrick’s declaration made the drug available to all first responders.

That's another legacy of the failed Patrick regime: this scourge of a heroin epidemic. I put it next to the meningitis murders.

Since then, price increases “have strained access to this life-saving medication at exactly the moment when it is most needed,” the companies were told in certified letters. “Our office has heard regularly from local law enforcement and public health workers worried about their ability to maintain supplies.”

In Plymouth, the cost of Narcan more than doubled to $44.54 a dose in December from $18.50 in February 2014. “It’s eating into the budget,” said Fire Chief G. Edward Bradley.

Like pension and health benefits for retirees.

In Needham, the price rose to $66.89 this month, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey. In Walpole, the cost was $37.50 in January, he said....


And now the legi$lature is going to get involved. 

You know, when you consider all the money to be made -- from running the drugs and laundering the loot to rehab and pharmaceutical treatment -- it's no wonder the wheels keep $pinning on the "drug wars."


"N. Andover clinic cheated addicts, Healey says" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  April 22, 2015

A North Andover treatment center was sued by the state Wednesday for allegedly pocketing cash from hundreds of patients for drug treatment that should have been free and for failing to provide adequate therapy in some cases.

In a civil complaint filed in Essex Superior Court, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office alleged that since October 2010, the Center for Psychiatric Medicine has charged MassHealth patients cash fees for treatment with Suboxone, a medication used to fight opiate addiction that was fully covered by the state’s health insurer for low-income and disabled patients.

The company may have racked up more than $482,000 from unlawful billings, according to the complaint.

That's almost half-a-million!

The center charged as much as $325 for an initial visit and between $150 and $200 for each additional visit, the suit says. The patients, though, should not have been charged.

MassHealth would have reimbursed the center between $15 and $75 for each individual claim.... 

It's the health $y$tem that is $ick.


I can $ee costs zooming, can't you?


"The family of a 24-year-old woman who died in New Hampshire of a heroin overdose has written an obituary openly discussing her struggle with drugs, with a plea to those with relatives fighting addiction to ‘‘do everything possible’’ to help them before it’s too late. Molly Parks died in Manchester on April 16. Her family in Saco, Maine, writes that along her journey through life, ‘‘she made a lot of bad decisions, including experimenting with drugs.’’ It says Parks fought her addiction for at least five years and had a near-fatal overdose before. Her father, Tom Parks, told WMUR-TV he hopes this message gets out: ‘‘Don’t believe your addict is clean. . . . Stay right on top of them.’’ (AP)."

Well, maybe not (frown).