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Ravaged by opioids, a rural W.Va. community fears gutting of Medicaid

June 30, 2017 | Yahoo News

As the crisis grows, the opioid war has taken a major financial toll on rural health care providers, including the local hospital and the Mason County EMS, which receives little public funding and has been barely making ends meet. It pays the bills largely through patient insurance — which in this mostly poor, rural area is Medicaid, a program that could see massive cuts under the health care bill championed by Senate Republicans anxious to deliver on their campaign promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

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STAT forecast: Opioids could kill nearly 500,000 Americans in the next decade

June 27, 2017 | STAT News

Opioids could kill nearly half a million people across America over the next decade as the crisis of addiction and overdose accelerates. Deaths from opioids have been rising sharply for years, and drug overdoses already kill more Americans under age 50 than anything else. STAT asked leading public health experts at 10 universities to forecast the arc of the epidemic over the next decade. The consensus: It will get worse before it gets better.

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FDA Asks Endo to Withdraw Opana ER

June 13, 2017 | Outpatient Surgery Magazine

For the first time ever, the Food and Drug Administration has asked a drug maker to pull a currently marketed opioid pain medication off the market over concerns that the drug is too easily abused.

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Opioids and Orthopedics Don't Mix

May 30, 2017 | Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Orthopedic surgeons need to consider opioid-sparing ways to manage their patients' joint discomfort before and after surgery, according to a pair of newly released studies. One shows the pre-op use of opioids negatively impacts the pain patients experience after surgery. The other suggests that overprescribing the powerful painkillers to manage post-op pain could be contributing to the opioid crisis that's gripping the nation.

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Trump Administration Proposes Big Cuts In Medical Research - Expands Opioid Prevention Efforts

May 16, 2017 | National Public Radio

Biomedical research and public health are among the big losers in the Trump administration's proposed budget. The proposal promises a "major reorganization" in the National Institutes of Health, which supports most of the nation's research on diseases and treatments. That includes a cut of $5.8 billion, about 20 percent of NIH's $30 billion budget. However, the proposal also promises an additional $500 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to "expand opioid misuse prevention efforts..."

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