Tag Archives: Reports

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Consumer Reports Warns Against the Risks of Prescription and Over-The-Counter Painkillers


YONKERS, NY (PRWEB) July 31, 2014

Some pain relief medications can be as addictive as heroin and are rife with deadly side effects. Every day, 46 people in the U.S. die from legal pain pills and for each death, more than 30 people are admitted to an emergency room because of opioid complications. Consumer Reports has taken a close look at the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter painkillers and is calling on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do more to make these drugs safer.

The full report, “Deadly Pain Pills” is featured in the September 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine and is available at http://www.ConsumerReports.org.

Consumer Reports looked at the deadly misconceptions associated with prescription opioids – including OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, and generic versions – narcotics that can make life more bearable for patients recovering from surgery or suffering from chronic pain or cancer. In addition, it identified the risks associated with taking too much acetaminophen, Tylenol and generic, a medication often renowned for its safety, as well as the inconsistent and sometimes confusing maximum daily amounts of the drug allowed by the FDA.

The use of opioids has skyrocketed in recent years with prescriptions climbing 300 percent in the past decade. Vicodin and other drugs containing the narcotic hydrocodone are now the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. Used properly, opioids can ease severe short-term pain from, say, surgery or a broken bone, and manage chronic pain from an illness such as cancer. However, Consumer Reports has found that there are safer approaches such as using other prescription medications to treat certain conditions such as nerve pain, migraines and more, reserving opioids for flare-ups, or to start with a short-acting opioid.

When taken carefully and in the right amounts, acetaminophen is safe for pain relief for most people, even when used long-term. However, almost 80,000 people per year are treated in emergency rooms because they have taken too much of it; and acetaminophen is now the most common cause of liver failure in the U.S.

Consumer Reports believes the advice on acetaminophen packaging to “take only as directed” is confusing and conflicting. While the FDA has lowered the maximum per-pill dose of prescription acetaminophen, the agency has not yet taken the same step for over-the-counter (OTC) products.

And OTC acetaminophen drug-makers have very different notions of what people can take – some labels advise taking no more than 1,000 milligrams daily while others set the limit almost four times as high. And, accidentally taking too much acetaminophen is all too easy – it is the most common drug in the U.S., and is found as an ingredient in more than 600 OTC and prescription medications including allergy aids, cough and cold remedies, fever reducers, pain relievers and sleep aids.

“All of this doesn’t mean that everyone should avoid opioids and acetaminophen altogether,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., chief medical adviser for Consumer Reports. “There are safer ways of taking these medications and alternative options. But it does mean that the FDA should fulfill its role to protect consumers by taking strong steps to reduce the dangers, starting by reconsidering its approval of Zohydro ER and establishing consistent standards for acetaminophen.”

Consumer Reports is asking the FDA to make the pain-reliever market less confusing and safer for consumers by taking these first steps: Reconsidering the approval of Zohydro ER, a long-acting version of hydrocodone that the agency approved in December 2013 against the recommendation of its own panel of expert advisers, and to make acetaminophen standards consistent.

Consumer Reports also advises consumers to know the risks, not only of opioids and acetaminophen but also of drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and generic), naproxen (Aleve and generic) and Celebrex (currently prescribed only under its brand name, but it should be available in the future as a generic). Like its non-prescription cousins, Celebrex can pose risks to your heart and stomach when taken regularly, as millions of Americans do.

“Pain drugs can be as bad as the pain itself,” Lipman says. “So you need to know when they are really needed and how to use them safely.”

The full report, featured in the September 2014 issue of Consumer Reports and at http://www.ConsumerReports.org also features advice for safe opioid use and drug and nondrug measures to treat back pain, headaches, joint pain and sore muscles.







Climate Change, Global Warming Increase Need for Sunscreen and Other Skin Protection Strategies Reports Fresh Water Advocate Sharon Kleyne

Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) April 14, 2015

With the global climate becoming warmer and dryer, and with summer approaching, the dangers of exposure to direct solar radiation are increasing. As a result, sunscreen protection is now recommended year round.* According to radio host and fresh water advocate Sharon Kleyne, while sunscreen is increasingly indispensable to skin health, additional skin protection measures can improve the effectiveness of sunscreen and lessen the chances of severe sunburn that can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, DNA damage, premature skin aging and skin cancer.

*Saraswat, K, “6 Reasons why you should never step out without applying sunscreen,” DNAIndia, April 8, 2015 http://www.dnaindia.com

Kleyne will present her views on climate change, sunscreen and skin protection on her radio broadcast of April 13, 2015. For podcasts of that and other past shows, go to http://www.SharonKleyneHour.com.

The syndicated Sharon Kleyne Hour™ Power of Water® radio show, hosted by fresh water advocate Sharon Kleyne, is heard weekly on VoiceAmerica and Apple iTunes. The education oriented show is sponsored by Bio-Logic Aqua® Research, a global research and technology center founded by Kleyne and specializing in fresh water, the atmosphere, water vapor and dehydration. Nature’s Mist® Face of the Water® is the Research Center’s signature product for dry and dehydrated skin and eyes.

Although sunscreen is outstanding at absorbing potentially damaging ultraviolet radiation and at creating a moisture barrier to prevent the loss of the skin’s natural water content to evaporation, according to Kleyne, users should be aware of sunscreen’s limitations and avoid making sunscreen their only sun protection.

The primary limitation of sunscreen, Kleyne explains, is that the moisture barrier can also cause a backup of toxins in the skin and body that would normally be excreted through the skin along with perspiration. The toxin backup can result in an inflammatory immune response that could be dehydrating and could actually increase the possibility of heat stroke.

Kleyne’s advice? Whether or not sunscreen is applied, the body should always be well hydrated before going out in the sun and should remains well hydrated while in the sun and afterwards. In other words, drink more water.

The very best solar protection, according to Kleyne, is light, loose clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and shade. If the body begins feeling overheated, clammy, weak or dizzy, get out of the sun immediately and drink small sips of water until the problem subsides.

At the first sign of sunburn, cover up and then hydrate the skin with a pure water atmospheric mist such as Nature’s Mist® Face of the Water® from Kleyne’s Bio-Logic Aqua® Research.

Apply sunscreen any time, summer or winter, according to Kleyne, if there is a chance that skin will be exposed to direct sunlight. Also apply immediately after a bath or shower, when skin is at its most hydrated. The sunscreen’s moisture barrier effect will help the skin retain water no matter what the surrounding atmospheric conditions.

Kleyne also recommends the use of make-up that has a sunscreen SPF rating.

For maximum body and skin hydration, says Kleyne, drink a minimum of eight glasses of fresh water per day. Water is most beneficial when ingested in full glasses rather than sipped. Juice and tea, while beneficial, are not counted towards the eight glasses. Water containing large amounts of sugar, fat, caffeine, sodium or alcohol are dehydrating. Children ten or under should drink half their body weight in ounces per day.

©2015 Bio-Logic Aqua® Research. All rights reserved.







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Teen Writing Contest About Mental Health Issues Gets Support From Published Authors Donating Autographed Books Reports StageofLife.com


Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

Online writing community, StageofLife.com, announced today that eleven, internationally published authors will be donating an autographed copy of their book as part of the winning prize packages for the teen finalists of the website’s “March Madness” writing contest dealing with mental health issues.

As an educational resource, StageofLife.com’s mission is to change the world through storytelling, and its award-winning, blogging platform welcomes close to a million teens, college students, teachers, and parents each year who come to the site to read and share their personal, real-life stories.

The site often collaborates with authors based on the topics of its writing prompts.

“We are overwhelmed at the support by the professional writing community as they donate autographed copies of their books for this month’s writing contest on mental illness and health,” said Rebecca Thiegs, VP of Education StageofLife.com.

Participating authors who are donating a signed copy of their book on mental health as a prize to the winning “March Madness” contest finalists include:

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” (Simon & Schuster)

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life” (Mariner Books)

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life” (Avery Trade)

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself” (W.W. Norton & Company)

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness” (Hyperion)

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope” (iUniverse)

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder” and “Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia” (Goodman Beck Publishing)

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” (Scribner)

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia” (St. Martin’s Griffin)

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (Thomas Dunne Books)

When asked about her participation with Stage of Life writing contest, author Stacy Pershall said, “Every time you come out to one person as having a mental health disorder, you change the world. Eliminating stigma happens one person at a time. Just giving someone the vocabulary to address what’s happening to them — for example anorexia, bulimia, self-harm — is a powerful thing…Before I got the right treatment, I was certain I’d die by suicide; it was just a matter of time. Now it’s not all about me. I have to stay alive so I can keep other people alive. Killing myself has ceased to be an option.”

Thiegs added that “People don’t talk about mental health issues or mental illness because of the shame and brokenness surrounding the topic, so this month, while much of the world watches the March Madness college basketball tournament, we want to encourage people to think, write and share a story surrounding the topic of mental health and mental illness.”

Alongside its “March Madness” writing contest, StageofLife.com features educational videos, recommended TED talks, resource reading on mental illness, and a Twitter contest awareness component.

Melody Moezzi, author of “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” told StageofLife.com that, “Sharing our stories as people living with mental illness is by far the most powerful way to fight stigma and discrimination. It’s our best weapon against the insidious culture of shame and silence that surrounds mental illness today.”

The StageofLife.com essay contest is open to anyone aged 13 years and older. Stories must be original, non-fiction, and 500 words or less. There is no entry fee and submissions are due March 31, 2014 by midnight Pacific Time US.

In addition to receiving a signed book, the 1st Place student writer will also receive gift cards from literacy sponsors IHOP and Papa John’s while the 1st Place adult writer will receive gift cards from Applebee’s and SpaWeek.

Finalists and Winners will be posted on the essay winner’s page and Teen Trend Report after April 20th, 2014.

To get details and submit a story to the March Madness writing contest, visit http://www.StageofLife.com.







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86% of Teenagers Know Someone Who Suffers from a Mental Illness, Reports Stageoflife.com


York, PA (PRWEB) April 30, 2014

To understand the relationship between teens and mental illness, StageofLife.com asked thousands of high school and college students to take its national poll about mental health issues as part of its monthly writing contests and life surveys.

The results revealed the following statistics about teenagers and mental illness:

–1 out of 2 teens state they have personally struggled with mental illness at some point in their lives.

–Depression and Anxiety ranked #1 and #2 respectively as the most common mental illness suffered by students.

–86% of teenagers say they know someone who suffers from a mental illness.

–46% of students say they have “contemplated” suicide.

–86.5% of students say that mental health issues are an “important” or “very important” topic for the country.

–84.5% of teens think that there is a negative stigma surrounding those with mental illness.

–Half of all teens say classmates and friends are mostly compassionate about those with mental illness.

–73% of high school and college students know someone who is taking medication because of a mental health issue.

Over 5,100 students visited the essay and survey page during the mental health writing prompt and over 400 teens fully answered the poll. An additional 180+ teen bloggers submitted an essay to StageofLife.com sharing their personal story will mental illness.

The winning 1st place student essay, “Fibs and Femurs for Dinner” was written by Emily Bromberg, a junior attending Long Beach High School on Long Island, NY who shared her story of struggling to stay healthy. The winning 1st place non-student essay was submitted by special education teacher, Lauren Bauer from Raleigh, NC in her story, “Alone.”

Stage of Life selected a winner from its “Short Short Story” Twitter contest, which also tied into the mental illness writing prompt. The winning Tweet came from ‏‏@sopxhia who wrote, “Depression is being trapped in my labyrinth of thoughts and having no light to guide my way through the twists of the maze.”

Winners from the writing and Twitter contests received gift cards from StageofLife.com educational corporate sponsors Applebee’s, IHOP, Papa John’s, and SpaWeek.com.

Additionally, the top 12 essay finalists received an autographed copy of a book signed by a nationally published author.

The participating authors who donated a signed book as a prize for the Stage of Life writing contest included…

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness”

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life”

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life”

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself”

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness”

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope”

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder and Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia”

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression”

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia”

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

StageofLife.com VP of Education, Rebecca Thiegs, said, “We gave students a safe venue to share their stories about mental illness. It is often a taboo topic, and we’re proud of the bravery of the hundreds of participating teens who submitted an essay this month.”

To read all of the essays about mental illness and download the full teen statistics report on this and other monthly writing contests and teen trends, visit StageofLife.com.

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StageofLife.com is a privately funded, start-up company founded in 2009 by Joe and Eric Thiegs. The website’s mission is to change the world, one story at a time. The site welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor last year and provides an international writing community, resources, videos, statistics, and more for today’s teen, Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomer generations.







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Recent Reports State That 19 Million Americans Abuse Prescription Drugs; FDA and Novus Medical Detox Agree That Education is Needed


New Port Richey, FL (PRWEB) August 11, 2014

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that 46 Americans die every day from prescription drug overdose, which adds up to about 17,000 deaths annually. The reports also state that poisonings by drug overdose have tripled over the past 30 years. (1) Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage drug abuse patients, states that the reason behind the high number of fatalities lies in inadequate drug education.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carries this same belief, and has responded by implementing a new drug education program. The program seeks to educate doctors who prescribe these highly-addictive painkillers, as well as the patients who are taking them. The program’s mission is “to teach doctors about proper opiate prescribing for pain patients to minimize the risks of diversion and addiction.” (4)

The United Nation’s World Drug Report 2014 stated that in 2012, 6.1% (19 million) of Americans abused prescription opioids, including morphine, codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin. This figure categorizes the United States as a country that abuses prescription drugs more than any other country in the world. (2) In an effort to lower the number of people harmed by these drugs, Novus warns Americans to exercise caution when receiving a new prescription from a physician, and to ask questions related to its side effects.

“Intentionally or not, Americans may be underestimating the highly addictive nature of drugs such as opioids,” stated Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon. “It may start as nothing more than filling a prescription for legitimate pain, but overdose may result when a patient seeks to elicit a stronger high from these drugs.”

Novus recommends that the following steps be taken when being prescribed a new medication (3):

●    Be sure that the prescription comes from a trusted physician;

●    Only use the medication as prescribed;

●    Ask the physician about the medicine and its effects;

●    Conduct your own research about the drug’s effects; and

●    Be prepared—ask your doctor what to do if one becomes addicted.

All of these tips are important to heed before a patient starts to take a medication, because addiction may begin with the patient being unaware of a medication’s initial effects. This patient may begin to take pills more liberally than prescribed, and the dangers of addiction do not lie far behind.

Runyon maintains that comprehensive drug education, starting in grade school and continuing throughout adult life to physician visits, can help to significantly reduce the number of Americans addicted to such drugs.

While new preventative measures are being taken, Novus recommends looking out for the following symptoms or behaviors (but not limited to), if someone suspects that a loved one is abusing pain reliever prescription drugs (5):

●    Nausea, drowsiness;

●    Mood swings and anxiety;

●    Slowed reactions, movement and breathing;

●    Jittery or secretive; and/or

●    Neglect of work/school responsibilities.

Runyon advises those who are dependent upon any abusive substance(s) to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs, and to use those with integrated medicine that allows the detox process to be as comfortable as possible.

For more information on Novus Medical Detox’s addiction and detox programs, visit http://www.NovusDetox.com.

About Novus Medical Detox Center:

Novus Medical Detox Center offers safe, effective alcohol and drug treatment programs in a home-like residential setting. Located on 3.25 tree-lined acres in New Port Richey, Fla., Novus is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families as an inpatient medical detox facility. Novus is known for minimizing the discomfort of withdrawal from prescription medication, drugs or alcohol by creating a customized detox program for each patient, incorporating medication, natural supplements and fluid replenishment—putting the dignity and humanity back into drug detoxification. Patients have 24/7 medical supervision, including round-the-clock nursing care and access to a withdrawal specialist, and enjoy comfortable private or shared rooms with a telephone, cable television, and high-speed Internet access. For more information, visit http://www.novusdetox.com.

1.Hutchins, Sarah. “Drug Overdose: Prescription Painkillers Poison 46 Americans Every Day.” Liberty Voice, 20 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. guardianlv.com/2014/07/drug-overdose-prescription-painkillers-poison-46-americans-every-day/.

2.Blake, Matthew. “Extent of US Dependency on Prescription Drugs Revealed: UN Report Shows 6% of American Adults Hooked on Pills.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 07 July 2014. Web. 21 July 2014. dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2683318/Extent-US-dependency-prescription-drugs-revealed-UN-report-shows-6-American-adults-hooked-pills.html.

3.Winkel, Bethany. “Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse—Treatment Solutions.” Treatment Solutions. N.p., 11 Feb. 2010. Web. 23 July 2014. treatmentsolutions.com/avoiding-prescription-drug-abuse/.

4.Sack, David. “FDA Prescription Drug Abuse Plan Hits—and Misses—the Mark—Addiction Recovery.” Addiction Recovery with David Sack, M.D. Psych Central.com, 7 July 2014. Web. 22 July 2014. blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2014/07/fda-prescription-drug-abuse-plan-hits-and-misses-the-mark/.

5.“Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.” Narconon International, n.d. Web. 22 July 2014. narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-pain-relievers.html.







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Alleged Overuse of Risperdal and Other Medications Sparks Federal Nursing Home Lawsuit, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports


New York, New York (PRWEB) September 08, 2014

Federal prosecutors have alleged that two California nursing homes inappropriately administered Risperdal (http://www.therisperdallawsuit.com/) and other medications to their patients, Bernstein Liebhard LLP reports. According to a lawsuit filed late last month in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, a number of elderly residents at the two facilities were allegedly treated with antipsychotic, psychotropic, and/or narcotic medications without the consent of their physicians or family members. In one case, an 86-year-old man became bedridden, stopped eating and developed bedsores and infections after he was treated with Risperdal and Haldol to control agitation. Within weeks of his admission to the facility, the resident was rushed to the hospital with symptoms of heart failure, a known side effect of antipsychotics in the elderly, the complaint charges.(Case No. 3:14-cv-03946)

According to a report from NPR, advocates for nursing home patients are hopeful that prosecutions such as this will discourage skilled nursing facilities from overmedicating their residents. While the labels for antipsychotic drugs like Risperdal warn that they can increase the risk of death in elderly dementia patients, about a fifth of nursing home residents nationwide are treated with such medications.*

“The filing of this complaint comes as hundreds of people pursue individual Risperdal lawsuits for gynecomastia and other complications allegedly caused by the antipsychotic medication. Among other things, these claims charge that the drug was improperly marketed for unapproved uses, including the treatment of elderly dementia patients,” says Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing the victims of defective drugs and medical devices. The Firm is currently offering free legal consultations to men and boys who allegedly developed gynecomastia, or male breast growth, due to their use of Risperdal.

Risperdal Gynecomastia Litigation

Court records indicate that the majority of individual Risperdal lawsuits are pending in a mass tort litigation now underway in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where Bernstein Liebhard LLP is actively filing cases. Among other things, the complaints accuse Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals of concealing the association between Risperdal and male breast growth, and of failing to warn doctors and patients about this potential risk. (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case Number 100300296).

In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $ 2.2 million to settle charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice involving the marketing of Risperdal and other medications. Among other things, the company pled guilty to a criminal misdemeanor and acknowledged that it had improperly marketed Risperdal for use in elderly dementia patients. However, Johnson & Johnson did not admit any wrongdoing in resolving civil charges regarding the promotion of Risperdal for off-label use in children. (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 04-cv-1529)

Men and boys who allegedly developed gynecomastia due to their use of Risperdal may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more. To learn more about filing a Risperdal lawsuit, please contact the Firm by calling 800-511-5092.

*ripr.org/post/feds-hope-hitting-nursing-homes-wallet-will-cut-overmedication, NPR, September 8, 2014

About Bernstein Liebhard LLP

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is a New York-based law firm exclusively representing injured persons in complex individual and class action lawsuits nationwide since 1993. As a national law firm, Bernstein Liebhard LLP possesses all of the legal and financial resources required to successfully challenge billion dollar pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As a result, our attorneys and legal staff have been able to recover more than $ 3 billion on behalf of our clients. The Firm has been named by The National Law Journal to the Plaintiffs’ Hot List, recognizing the top plaintiffs firms in the country, for the past 12 consecutive years. Bernstein Liebhard LLP is the only firm in the country to be named to this prestigious list every year since it was first published in 2003.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP

10 East 40th Street

New York, New York 10016

800-511-5092

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. © 2014 Bernstein Liebhard LLP. The law firm responsible for this advertisement is Bernstein Liebhard LLP, 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016, 800-511-5092. Prior results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future matter.

Contact Information:

Felecia L. Stern, Esq.

info (at) consumerinjurylawyers (dot) com

http://www.therisperdallawsuit.com/

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CDC Vital Signs Reports: Opioid Painkiller Prescribing Varies Widely Among States


Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) July 02, 2014

Health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers in 2012 – many more in some states than in others – according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that highlights the danger of overdose. The report also has an example of a state that reversed its overdose trend.

Health care providers in the highest prescribing state, Alabama, wrote almost three times as many of these prescriptions per person as those in the lowest prescribing state, Hawaii. Most of the highest prescribing states were in the South. Previous research has shown that regional variation in use of prescriptions cannot be explained by the underlying health status of the population.

The Vital Signs report also contains a study highlighting the success of Florida in reversing prescription drug overdose trends. Results showed that after statewide legislative and enforcement actions in 2010 and 2011, the death rate from prescription drug overdose decreased 23 percent between 2010 and 2012. Florida officials had taken these actions in response to a 28 percent increase in the drug overdose death rate over the preceding years (2006-2010).

Declines in death rates in Florida for specific prescription painkillers (oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone) and sedatives paralleled declines in prescribing rates for those drugs. This report was based on Florida Medical Examiners Commission data from 2006 to 2012 and IMS Health National Prescription Audit data from 2008 to 2012.

“Prescription drug overdose is epidemic in the United States. All too often, and in far too many communities, the treatment is becoming the problem,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Overdose rates are higher where these drugs are prescribed more frequently. States and practices where prescribing rates are highest need to take a particularly hard look at ways to reduce the inappropriate prescription of these dangerous drugs.”

For this Vital Signs report, CDC analyzed 2012 prescribing data collected from retail pharmacies in the United States by a commercial vendor. CDC calculated prescribing rates by state for various types of opioid painkillers.

Key findings include:


Southern states – Alabama, Tennessee, and West Virginia in particular – had the most painkiller prescriptions per person.

The Northeast, especially Maine and New Hampshire, had the most prescriptions per person for long-acting/extended-release painkillers and for high-dose painkillers.

State variation was the greatest for oxymorphone (a specific type of painkiller), among all prescription painkillers. Nearly 22 times as many prescriptions were written for oxymorphone in Tennessee as were written in Minnesota.

“We know we can do better. State variation in prescribing shows us that the overprescribing of opioids can be reduced safely and feasibly,” said Daniel M. Sosin, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., acting director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. “Improving how opioids are prescribed will help us prevent the 46 prescription painkiller overdose deaths that occur each day in the United States.”

Previous research has shown that state variation does not necessarily translate to better health outcomes or patient satisfaction. In fact, high rates of use might produce worse outcomes.

Steps that states can take to address the overprescribing of painkillers include:

Considering ways to increase use of prescription drug monitoring programs, which are state-run databases that track prescriptions for painkillers and can help find problems in overprescribing. Impact of these programs is greater when they make data available in real time, are universal (used by all prescribers for all prescriptions for all controlled substances), and are actively managed (for example, send alerts to prescribers when problems are identified).

Considering policy options, including laws and regulation, relating to pain clinics to reduce prescribing practices that are risky to patients.

Evaluating their own data and programs and considering ways to assess their Medicaid, workers’ compensation programs, and other state-run health plans to detect and address inappropriate prescribing of painkillers.

Identifying opportunities to increase access to substance abuse treatment and considering expanding first responder access to naloxone, a drug used when people overdose.

CDC’s Injury Center works to protect the safety of everyone, every day. For more information about prescription drug overdoses, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/overdose.

Vital Signs is a CDC report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, motor vehicle passenger safety, prescription drug overdose, HIV/AIDS, alcohol use, health care–associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, food safety and viral hepatitis.

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Risperdal Lawsuit Claims Contending Males Taking The Antipsychotic Drug Causes Gynecomastia Move Forward With October Meeting Reports Wright & Schulte LLC


Columbus, OH (PRWEB) October 11, 2014

As Risperdal lawsuit claims continue in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, another monthly meeting has been scheduled for parties to discuss the litigation surrounding antipsychotic drugs and the development of male breasts or gynecomastia. According to court records there are nearly 80 Risperdal lawsuit claims pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas mass tort program. The court’s calendar shows attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendants are scheduled to meet on October 15, at the Complex Litigation Center in Philadelphia’s City Hall. The Risperdal side-effects complaints were filed on behalf of males who allege that they experienced gynecomastia, which is excessive male breast growth similar to that of a woman after using the antipsychotic drug. The Risperdal side-effect lawsuits purport that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which manufactures and markets the drug, failed to warn consumers and health care providers about the serious side-effects of taking Risperdal. (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case Number 100300296)

Risperdal gynecomastia is a devastating condition that can have far reaching effects on a boy’s social development and quality of life. The attorneys at Wright & Schulte LLC are committed to ensuring that the victims of Risperdal gynecomastia obtain the justice they deserve. To learn more, please contact Wright & Schulte LLC for a free Risperdal lawsuit consultation to ensure you are treated fairly and receive all of the compensation the law allows. Call 1-800-399-0795 or visit http://www.yourlegalhelp.com for more information.

In June, plaintiffs’ attorneys asked Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold New, who is presiding over the Risperdal litigation, to reconsider his decision of preventing plaintiffs from asking for punitive damages against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Judge New issued an order on July 18 reaffirming his earlier decision to deny punitive damages to plaintiffs but they can still ask for compensatory damages. The issue of punitive damages arose as a result of Janssen asking Judge New to allow the New Jersey Product Liability Act to apply in the Risperdal litigation because the company is headquartered in New Jersey. The New Jersey Product Liability Act does not allow punitive damages to be awarded against manufacturers of prescription drugs or medical devices if they have received pre-market approval by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Plaintiffs’ attorneys contend that the defendants marketed Risperdal for uses that were not approved by the FDA and therefore, punitive damages should be allowed. Judge New initially granted Janssen’s motion in an order issued May 2, 2014. (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case Number 100300296)

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was the subject of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for marketing Risperdal for uses that were not approved by the FDA. According to the DOJ, Janssen did not have FDA approval when the company marketed the antipsychotic medication for use in children and adolescents with behavior challenges and the company did not disclose the health risks associated with use of the drug. In November 2013, the DOJ announced that Janssen was charged with a criminal count of misbranding Risperdal and Janssen pleaded guilty to the charge. The company also agreed to pay a $ 400 million criminal fine. The DOJ said Risperdal was not approved for use in children for any purpose until late 2006. Janssen was also under criminal investigation for marketing Risperdal for unapproved use in elderly dementia patients. The DOJ charged Janssen in this case with introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce. The company also paid $ 1.25 billion to settle a separate civil case regarding Risperdal. [justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/November/13-ag-1170.html, November 4, 2013] [fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm373499.htm, November 4, 2013]

Risperdal is approved by the FDA as an atypical antipsychotic drug to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability in autistic children and adolescents. An investigation by the Los Angeles Daily News showed children in California’s foster care system have been prescribed psychiatric drugs, including Risperdal, Prozac, and Haldol, to control their behavior, although the medications have not been approved by the FDA use by children. The Los Angeles Daily News said it looked at 10 years of data that begins in 2004. The newspaper’s investigation found that nearly 1 out of every 4 adolescents in California’s foster care system is receiving psychiatric drugs, which is three times the rate for all adolescents nationwide. The newspaper reported that of the thousands of foster children prescribed psychotropic drugs in the last 10 years, nearly 60 percent were prescribed an antipsychotic, which are the highest risk psychotropic drugs. The newspaper further reported that the percentage of foster children who were prescribed two or more psychotropic medications increased from 10.1 percent in 2004 to 12.2 percent in 2013.

[dailynews.com/health/20140823/children-in-californias-foster-care-system-are-prescribed-risky-medications, August 23, 2014]

About Wright & Schulte LLC

Wright & Schulte LLC, an experienced personal injury firm, is dedicated to the belief that America’s legal system should work for the people. Every day, the attorneys of Wright & Schulte LLC stand up for the rights of people who have been injured or wronged and fight tirelessly to ensure that even the world’s most powerful corporations take responsibility for their actions. If you’re looking for a law firm that will guarantee the aggressive and personal representation you deserve, please do not hesitate to contact Wright & Schulte LLC today. Free Risperdal lawsuit case evaluations are available through yourlegalhelp.com or by calling 1-800-399-0795.

Contact:

Wright & Schulte LLC

812 East National Road

Vandalia, Ohio 45377

1-800-399-0795

http://www.yourlegalhelp.com

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Teen Writing Contest About Mental Health Issues Gets Support From Published Authors Donating Autographed Books Reports StageofLife.com


Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

Online writing community, StageofLife.com, announced today that eleven, internationally published authors will be donating an autographed copy of their book as part of the winning prize packages for the teen finalists of the website’s “March Madness” writing contest dealing with mental health issues.

As an educational resource, StageofLife.com’s mission is to change the world through storytelling, and its award-winning, blogging platform welcomes close to a million teens, college students, teachers, and parents each year who come to the site to read and share their personal, real-life stories.

The site often collaborates with authors based on the topics of its writing prompts.

“We are overwhelmed at the support by the professional writing community as they donate autographed copies of their books for this month’s writing contest on mental illness and health,” said Rebecca Thiegs, VP of Education StageofLife.com.

Participating authors who are donating a signed copy of their book on mental health as a prize to the winning “March Madness” contest finalists include:

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” (Simon & Schuster)

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life” (Mariner Books)

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life” (Avery Trade)

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself” (W.W. Norton & Company)

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness” (Hyperion)

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope” (iUniverse)

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder” and “Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia” (Goodman Beck Publishing)

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” (Scribner)

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia” (St. Martin’s Griffin)

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (Thomas Dunne Books)

When asked about her participation with Stage of Life writing contest, author Stacy Pershall said, “Every time you come out to one person as having a mental health disorder, you change the world. Eliminating stigma happens one person at a time. Just giving someone the vocabulary to address what’s happening to them — for example anorexia, bulimia, self-harm — is a powerful thing…Before I got the right treatment, I was certain I’d die by suicide; it was just a matter of time. Now it’s not all about me. I have to stay alive so I can keep other people alive. Killing myself has ceased to be an option.”

Thiegs added that “People don’t talk about mental health issues or mental illness because of the shame and brokenness surrounding the topic, so this month, while much of the world watches the March Madness college basketball tournament, we want to encourage people to think, write and share a story surrounding the topic of mental health and mental illness.”

Alongside its “March Madness” writing contest, StageofLife.com features educational videos, recommended TED talks, resource reading on mental illness, and a Twitter contest awareness component.

Melody Moezzi, author of “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” told StageofLife.com that, “Sharing our stories as people living with mental illness is by far the most powerful way to fight stigma and discrimination. It’s our best weapon against the insidious culture of shame and silence that surrounds mental illness today.”

The StageofLife.com essay contest is open to anyone aged 13 years and older. Stories must be original, non-fiction, and 500 words or less. There is no entry fee and submissions are due March 31, 2014 by midnight Pacific Time US.

In addition to receiving a signed book, the 1st Place student writer will also receive gift cards from literacy sponsors IHOP and Papa John’s while the 1st Place adult writer will receive gift cards from Applebee’s and SpaWeek.

Finalists and Winners will be posted on the essay winner’s page and Teen Trend Report after April 20th, 2014.

To get details and submit a story to the March Madness writing contest, visit http://www.StageofLife.com.







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86% of Teenagers Know Someone Who Suffers from a Mental Illness, Reports Stageoflife.com


York, PA (PRWEB) April 30, 2014

To understand the relationship between teens and mental illness, StageofLife.com asked thousands of high school and college students to take its national poll about mental health issues as part of its monthly writing contests and life surveys.

The results revealed the following statistics about teenagers and mental illness:

–1 out of 2 teens state they have personally struggled with mental illness at some point in their lives.

–Depression and Anxiety ranked #1 and #2 respectively as the most common mental illness suffered by students.

–86% of teenagers say they know someone who suffers from a mental illness.

–46% of students say they have “contemplated” suicide.

–86.5% of students say that mental health issues are an “important” or “very important” topic for the country.

–84.5% of teens think that there is a negative stigma surrounding those with mental illness.

–Half of all teens say classmates and friends are mostly compassionate about those with mental illness.

–73% of high school and college students know someone who is taking medication because of a mental health issue.

Over 5,100 students visited the essay and survey page during the mental health writing prompt and over 400 teens fully answered the poll. An additional 180+ teen bloggers submitted an essay to StageofLife.com sharing their personal story will mental illness.

The winning 1st place student essay, “Fibs and Femurs for Dinner” was written by Emily Bromberg, a junior attending Long Beach High School on Long Island, NY who shared her story of struggling to stay healthy. The winning 1st place non-student essay was submitted by special education teacher, Lauren Bauer from Raleigh, NC in her story, “Alone.”

Stage of Life selected a winner from its “Short Short Story” Twitter contest, which also tied into the mental illness writing prompt. The winning Tweet came from ‏‏@sopxhia who wrote, “Depression is being trapped in my labyrinth of thoughts and having no light to guide my way through the twists of the maze.”

Winners from the writing and Twitter contests received gift cards from StageofLife.com educational corporate sponsors Applebee’s, IHOP, Papa John’s, and SpaWeek.com.

Additionally, the top 12 essay finalists received an autographed copy of a book signed by a nationally published author.

The participating authors who donated a signed book as a prize for the Stage of Life writing contest included…

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness”

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life”

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope”

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life”

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself”

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness”

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope”

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder and Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia”

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression”

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia”

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

StageofLife.com VP of Education, Rebecca Thiegs, said, “We gave students a safe venue to share their stories about mental illness. It is often a taboo topic, and we’re proud of the bravery of the hundreds of participating teens who submitted an essay this month.”

To read all of the essays about mental illness and download the full teen statistics report on this and other monthly writing contests and teen trends, visit StageofLife.com.

# # #

StageofLife.com is a privately funded, start-up company founded in 2009 by Joe and Eric Thiegs. The website’s mission is to change the world, one story at a time. The site welcomed its 1,000,000th visitor last year and provides an international writing community, resources, videos, statistics, and more for today’s teen, Gen X, Gen Y, and Baby Boomer generations.