4 thoughts on “Amy Graves discusses RX drug misuse in N.S. – Global News – 02/21/2014

  1. My son died on September 8th 2013 of “accidental pres overdose”. I am from B.C and the fact that he was able to go from walk in clinic to walk in clinic getting pres after pres…is mind boggling. The system is pathetic. Doctors today seem to have a serious problem with overprescribing and this is a fact!. It is all about kickbacks…I fought for 18 yrs between my son having an eating disorder and then addiction to prescription medications..I have fought the system.to save my son when he spent 3 long yrs in 4 different hospitals. with his first ilnesss. My husband and I had fought tooth and nail to help him beat his addiction to presc meds…My son never got the ongoing intensive therapy he needed . To meet him..u would think he was perfectly normal…good looking man..sensitive smart..artistic and handsome…but he had an addictive type personality that showed early signs with obsessive behaviours at a young age.. My heart is shattered…in pieces..my baby is gone..and I blame the sad sad system that we have in this country.

  2. Why we need more ‘real world’ research on pharmaceutical drug safety
    By Alan Cassels
    Canadian federal drug safety watchdog makes international headlines with statins research

    A version of this commentary appeared in the Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and the Edmonton Journal.

    Pharmacovigilance. It’s a fancy word, but means a very simple and important thing to all of us — it’s about keeping a watch (being vigilant) on the safety of the pharmaceutical supply. Researchers in this area try to find signals from large data sets, looking for adverse drug reactions which point toward better and safer ways of using drugs.

    Ever since the Vioxx debacle of a decade ago, when one of the biggest selling drugs in the history of the world came crashing down after it was shown to cause heart attacks and deaths, there has been a huge demand for stronger levels of pharmacovigilance in this country.

    Luckily, Canada’s federal government responded, too slowly and with too few dollars, but at least the creation of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network about five years ago was a start. Finally we had a home-based network of Canadian researchers doing solid pharmacovigilance research in this country, carrying out the kind of serious drug safety evaluation we desperately need.

    For proof of concept, a DSEN study published this week in the British Medical Journal found that people taking higher strength statins (drugs to lower cholesterol, like Lipitor, Crestor or Zocor) face an increased risk of kidney injury. It found that patients on high potency statins were more likely to be hospitalized for acute kidney injury within 120 days of starting treatment compared to those taking low-potency statins.

    This class of drugs has been under a dark cloud for a long time, especially due to the muscle-weakening, and cognitive effects that people in the “real world” (that is, outside the bounds of clinical trials) experience. That’s why real world research is so valuable — it can measure through large administrative data sets what kind of experiences people can have.

    The absolute risk of kidney injury seemed small (about one in 275 high-dose statin patients were hospitalized for acute kidney injury, versus one in 375 for those on low-dose statins) but when you consider the millions of Canadians swallowing a statin every day, the overall number harmed is likely large.

    This study again reminds us that taking a drug for one thing (lowering cholesterol) can have consequences of doing other, unexpected things (injuring your kidneys). Kidney damage can be profound and devastating, which is a high price to pay for someone who is otherwise perfectly healthy, but told by their doctor they need a drug to lower their cholesterol.

    Over the years, real-world experiences of statins have started to seep into general practice, largely by those who report adverse drug reactions such as nagging muscle weakness and pain. Since about a third of statin users are taking higher potency statins, we now have some credible proof that more people are being harmed than need be.

    The Canadian researchers who did this work looked at health records of two million patients in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, essentially sifting through an enormous pile of anonymous patient data to find drug safety signals that would be impossible to do in smaller trials or epidemiological studies.

    We can feel good that we’ve got strong federally funded pharmacovigilance studies in Canada producing results such as these. All, however is not rosy, especially when you consider how political drug safety evaluation work can be. And how threatening it can be to the pharmaceutical industry.

    Alan Cassels is a pharmaceutical policy researcher at the University of Victoria and an expert advisor with EvidenceNetwork.ca

  3. US Officials Target Escalating Drug Overdoses
    February 27, 2014 – Dr Mercola
    Deaths caused by overdosing on painkillers now surpass murders and fatal car accidents in the US
    US officials now acknowledge that prescription narcotics are a driving force in the rise of substance abuse and lethal overdoses
    Over the past five years, heroin deaths have increased by 45 percent–an increase that officials blame on the rise of addictive prescription drugs such as Vicodin and OxyContin which, like heroin, are opioids
    The reason for the resurgence of heroin is in large part due to it being less expensive than its prescription counterparts
    According to one recent study, more than 14 percent of pregnant women were prescribed opioid drugs during their pregnancy. The most common reason for the prescription was back pain
    Many are still under the illusion that prescription drugs are somehow safer than street drugs, but it’s important to realize that prescription medications like hydrocodone and oxycodone are opioids—just like heroin.
    According to a 2013 US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration report, nearly 80 percent of people who recently started using heroin had previously used prescription painkillers. As reported by WebMD:6
    Read further:

  4. I am a Victim of Oxycontin–Accidental Addict–I never put a needle in my arm…After 8-9 years on the Drug – Oxycontin was marketed as nonaddictive under 60mgs. I believed my Doctor. I lost my Health–Family Support–I am in dire straights–poverty–stigmatism attached to being treated like a junkie but I have Chronic Pain. I was never addicted to anything..Please Help…I was in school when I started Oxycontin. I had no idea my Tolerance was causing me to be ill a lot. After 2 tries @ Detox–I ended up on Methadone. I am in the Class Action Lawsuit but I would rather have the last 14 years back.i need help–support–guidance etc. ty for reading my Post. I lost my soul–purdue Pharma changed my life lan–I am now 50 and I want to give up. I want to be free of the severe hardship of addiction–being alone–no Family-they are embarrassed. Most of all–my Daughter is embarrassed and wants nothing to do with me—I’m so Sad.

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