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By curious2 follow curious2   2018 Mar 12, 1:49am 5,709 views   12 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

"CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money -- and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes.

In 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors across the country six-figure sums for speaking, consulting and other services. Thousands of other doctors were paid over $25,000 during that time.

"the use of opioid vs nonopioid medication therapy did not result in significantly better pain-related function over 12 months (3.4 vs 3.3 points on an 11-point scale at 12 months, respectively)."

Bottom line: drug companies tipped out part of the infinite subsidies they get from mandatory insurance to doctors to prescribe more opioids, which had no functional advantage for chronic pain compared to cheap OTC drugs not covered by insurance. Americans pay the highest prices in the world for Rx drugs, and the lowest prices in the world for OTC drugs. The Rx and insurance markup system finances a web of corruption and documented distortions in prescribing patterns, pushing more expensive Rx drugs even where they have no functional advantage (and significant disadvantages) compared to OTC drugs. The mandatory Rx and insurance system protects industry markups, not patients.

#economics #health #politics
4   Brd6   ignore (1)   2018 Mar 12, 9:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Fighting opioids with prohibitions is a losing game, a fight with symptoms. Perhaps having sufficient number of blue-collar jobs in the affected areas would help - people would have something better to do rather than sit at home, collect unemployment, and pop pills.
5   curious2   ignore (0)   2018 Mar 12, 10:29am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

drB6 says
Fighting opioids with prohibitions is a losing game, a fight with symptoms.

So is subsidizing them. Federal policy does both, because it is designed to maximize power (including in the form of revenue). The policies make no sense from a public health perspective, but they persist because they accomplish the deeper goal of consolidating power.
7   CBOEtrader   ignore (6)   2018 Mar 12, 10:37am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

bob2356 says

Is this a joke somehow? Someone making 250-300k a year getting $455 is huge sums of money?

Per prescription? Absolutely it's a lot of money.

I am on pace to make about that in 2018, and all i do is get paid $300 to $3k dollars per policy I write. I actively look for extra $450 opportunuties all day. It adds up. Even 2 extra prescriptions/week will be an extra $100k for the year.

That's a huge incentive.
8   Brd6   ignore (1)   2018 Mar 12, 10:51am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

curious2 says
The policies make no sense from a public health perspective

Very true; drug companies make off like bandits - production of these drugs cost pennies.
9   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Mar 8, 1:40pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

State Pensions Fought Guns and Tobacco. Why Aren’t They Divesting From Opioids?

Outcry has been muted compared to gun and tobacco holdings. Endo’s stock fell sharply after Purdue bankruptcy reports.

State pension funds have historically taken stands against controversial industries, like firearms and tobacco, sometimes divesting their investments to push companies to act.

But in the opioid crisis, which has generated hundreds of lawsuits seeking to hold manufacturers and distributors accountable, the funds have mostly stayed on the sideline so far. Some of the biggest ones, including New York and California pension funds, hold investments in Endo International, the largest maker of branded opioids after privately held Purdue Pharma LP. Even in West Virginia, which has been racked by opioid-related deaths, the state pension fund has a $1.8 million equity stake in Endo.

“West Virginia is literally and metaphorically ground zero for both the opioid epidemic and litigation,” said Charles Webb, an attorney at Webb Law Centre, which represents towns that brought suits. While local West Virginia unions have been outspoken about the epidemic, Webb said he hasn’t heard any outcry from the state pension fund. The fund did not respond to requests for comment.

The opioid investments, to be sure, are tiny relative to the funds’ overall assets. And pension fund members may not know they are invested in the opioid industry. Many fund investments are held through indexes, which are passive vehicles, said Keith Brainard, research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, which manages about $122 billion, holds $3.1 million in Endo stock, about 75 percent through passively held indexes, a spokesperson said.

Funds including California’s and New York’s say they generally oppose divesting from controversial companies because it doesn’t change corporate behavior. Instead, they say they try to engage with management through activist measures. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, CalSTRS, has been active with a group called Investors for Opioid Accountability, which represents 54 institutions. New York’s fund said it has asked opioid manufacturers to address potential financial, legal and reputational risks.

Still, the opioid epidemic has made for awkward situations. In Florida, former state attorney general Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit in late 2018 against more than a dozen opioid manufacturers and distributors, including Endo. At the time, Bondi sat on the board of the Florida Retirement System Pension Fund. The fund is invested in both Endo and Insys Therapeutics, Inc., another opioid maker that was part of her lawsuit.

The attorney general "does not get involved in the day-to-day operations of the pension fund," said John Kuczwanski, the fund’s manager of external affairs.

Unlike the firearms industry, which hasn’t yielded notable returns in years, Endo was a profitable investment for nearly a decade, hitting a peak in 2015. It’s since fallen dramatically, tanking 24 percent after OxyContin maker Purdue was reported to be exploring bankruptcy.

Endo has been open to talking to institutional investors and recently held a "constructive engagement" with them, according to a spokesperson. The company no longer markets opioid products and withdrew one pain product, Opana ER, from the market altogether.


10   Ceffer   ignore (5)   2019 Mar 8, 3:56pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Addiction was invented as a profit multiplier. God gave it to us for that purpose, and it is the purest strain of the Founding Father's wishes. Hail Addiction!
11   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (2)   2019 Mar 8, 3:59pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

curious2 says
The Rx and insurance markup system finances a web of corruption and documented distortions in prescribing patterns,

Web of corruption including politicians who are watching and sitting on their hands.
But people are so divided that any talk of doing something is immediately suspected of being a 'plan' of the other side.

It's like:
12   anonymous   ignore (null)   2019 Mar 10, 3:08pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

White ZIP codes in California hit harder by opioid crisis

White people living in California, particularly in poor communities, are more likely than other groups in the state receive opioids prescriptions, a new study says.

Between 2011 and 2015, zip codes with predominately white populations received opioid prescriptions at twice the rate of people in zip codes that weren't predominately white, according to findings published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

California residents in predominately white zip codes were also about three times as likely to receive prescriptions for controlled substances like anxiety-reducing benzodiazepines and stimulants to treat attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder, the researchers say.

Much of the reason for the disparity in opioid prescriptions between white people and other groups could result from an implicit bias toward people of color, especially black people, researchers say.

One 2016 study showed a group of white medical students believed stereotypes about black people, such as black people having less sensitive nerve endings than white people -- stereotypes that continue to persist.

"Medicine has a long, unsavory history of expecting people of color to tolerate larger levels of pain," Steven Woolf of Virginia Commonwealth University, who was not involved in the new study, told the Los Angeles Times. "For the opioid epidemic it had a silver lining, but the discrimination is fatal when the denied treatment is lifesaving, such as cancer screening. This is why African Americans have higher mortality rates from cancer -- they are less likely to get screened, their cancers are more likely to grow before being detected, and survival rates once diagnosed are often shorter."

Granted, the number of black people dying from opioid overdoses has risen by 56 percent between 2016 and 2017 -- the biggest jump in any racial group.

Health professionals attribute the increase to how cheap heroin and fentanyl have become over the last few years.

In 2016, California had 2,012 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ at a rate of 4.9 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. That compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

"California represented an apt location to study this topic because its wide range of racial/ethnic and socioeconomic diversity enabled us to study a more complete picture of the social dynamics of opioid prescription. Furthermore, given its large population size, California represents a sizable share of total prescribing in the United States," the study reads.


JAMA Research Paper: Assessment of Racial/Ethnic and Income Disparities in the Prescription of Opioids and Other Controlled Medications in California


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