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Trending News Today: Study Shows Many Opioid Prescriptions Lack Medical Explanation

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
 
Published Online: Sep 11,2018
AJPB Staff
On Monday, a US appeals court invalidated patents covering Acorda Therapeutics’ multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra, Reuters reported. According to the article, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that 4 Acorda patents on Ampyra were invalid because they described obvious ideas. The court’s decision opens the door to generic competition for the product, the article reported.

Nearly 30% of all opioids prescribed in US clinics or physicians’ offices lack a medical explanation, CNN reported. According to the article, a new study found that 28.5% of opioid prescriptions did not have a record of either pain symptoms or a pain-related condition to justify its use. Overall, opioids were prescribed in nearly 809 million outpatient visits over a 10-year period, with 66.4% of these prescriptions intended to treat non-cancer pain and 5.1% for cancer-related pain, the article reported.

A recent study showed that the majority of young individuals with opioid addiction are not receiving medications that have been recommended to treat their disease, Reuters reported. According to the article, only 1 in 4 received a medication approved by the FDA within 3 months of their diagnosis. Additionally, only 1 in 21 adolescents under the age of 18 received 1 of the guideline-recommended medications, the article reported.