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Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Tampa Wednesday talking about efforts to combat the nation's opioid crisis.

Doctors Wary Of Painkiller Prescription Limits

Jan 23, 2018

Surgeons complain it’s too restrictive for patients who undergo major heart surgery or hip replacement. Emergency room doctors gripe they don’t have the time or resources to comply. And pharmacists say it needs to be tweaked.

Doctors at some of the largest U.S. hospital chains admit they went overboard with opioids to make people as pain-free as possible, and now they shoulder part of the blame for the nation’s opioid crisis. To be part of the cure, they’ve begun to issue an uncomfortable warning to patients: You’re going to feel some pain.

Two of Florida’s largest counties, Palm Beach and Broward, have started a process that could take opioid drug makers to court for their roles in the opioid crisis. 

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?

Senate Bill Seeks To Rein In Prescription Painkillers

Oct 24, 2017

A Senate Republican has filed a sweeping measure aimed at keeping patients from getting hooked on prescription painkillers.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s response to the state’s opioid crisis is taking shape in the House.

There are few laws in place to keep prescription drug companies from raising their prices to levels unaffordable for many people.

Hospices Grapple With Stolen Meds

Aug 22, 2017

Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why.

The FDA has issued an advisory and recall for all liquid drug products made at Davie-based drug company PharmaTech. This is the second recall in the last 10 months, including products widely used by infants and toddlers.

The first contamination advisory was issued after Burkholderia cepaci was found in the drug company's water system. B. cepacia,  a bacteria known to cause pneumonia in people with weakened immune systems and cystic fibrosis, among other diseases, has potentially serious effects. The contaminated water was used during the manufacturing of each liquid medication.

Drug For Nerve Pain Boosts High For Opioid Abusers

Jul 6, 2017

On April 5, Ciera Smith sat in a car parked on the gravel driveway of the Rural Women’s Recovery Program here with a choice to make: go to jail or enter treatment for her addiction.

Jane Morse needed to fill a prescription that was going to cost her about $300. She's on Medicare but doesn't have a prescription drug plan so she's learned to shop around.

A bill adding more drugs to Florida’s prescription-medicine price database is heading to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for his signature.

The measure was sponsored by two Jacksonville lawmakers: Rep. Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville, and Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach.


During a recent trip to the pharmacy, Tampa resident Michael Ruppal was told his medication was no longer covered. He has another month until his annual health insurance contract is up for renewal or cancelation.

It may be hard to pronounce, but medication synchronization is an idea whose time has come, at least according to some Florida lawmakers.

There are many moving parts in the nation’s ongoing health care debate. One of the most embattled at the moment is the pharmaceutical industry. Now those companies have launched a counter-offensive to try and repair their tarnished image.

NCCIH.gov

No law in Florida prevents health insurance companies from changing the cost of a patient's prescription drugs -or from dropping coverage all together of that drug - in the middle of a 12-month contract.

But a bill filed in the Florida legislature forces insurers to stick by those contracts.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

Saturday was the Drug Enforcement Administration's National "Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative."

Local law enforcement agencies likes the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department collected unused prescription pills at various locations. The goal was to keep those medicines from getting into the wrong hands. 

Florida Stores Help Consumers Buy Imported Drugs Despite Federal Ban

Jun 7, 2016

A hardy market for imported low-cost prescription drugs has taken root in Florida, nourished by older Americans and tolerant regulators.

CDC Guidelines Aim To Curb Painkiller Prescribing

Mar 16, 2016

Prescription painkillers should not be a first choice for treating common ailments like back pain and arthritis, according to new federal guidelines designed to reshape how doctors prescribe drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin.

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