#1 Surgery patients in Michigan found to use only 27% of opioids prescribed to them
A November7, 2018 study titled “Association of Opioid Prescribing with Opioid Consumption After Surgery in Michigan” published in JAMA Surgery reports that opioid pain medication is severely overprescribed for patients undergoing surgery.
2,392 patients 18 years and older undergoing surgery were tracked across 33 health systems in Michigan between Jan. 1 – Sept. 30, 2017. The study found a correlation between prescription size of opioids and the amounts of opioids patients consumed. Patients used an additional 5 pills for every 10 extra pills prescribed.
The study concluded: “The quantity of opioid prescribed is associated with higher patient-reported opioid consumption. Using patient-reported opioid consumption to develop better prescribing practices is an important step in combating the opioid epidemic.”
#2 Vivozon’s non-opioid pain killer granted FDA fast track designation
Vivozon, Inc. a company focused on the development of a safe non-opioid-next-generation pain killer for the patients suffering from operations, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, etc. has obtained FDA fast track designation for its lead drug candidate, VVZ-149, currently in phase 2b clinical trials in the US and Korea for the treatment of post-operative pain. MMS Holdings Inc. a CRO based in Michigan is assisting Vivozon with its regulatory strategy. Click here to read the press release.
According to the company, VVZ-149 is a new mechanism-based non-narcotic and non-NSAID analgesic demonstrating robust pain-suppressing efficacy and substantial opioid sparing effects with excellent safety profiles in clinical trials to date.
#3 Insys looks to sell opioid-related assets
Insys Therapeutics Inc. announced on November 6, 2018 that it is looking to sell its opioid-related assets. These include Subsys, the fentanyl painkiller that was key to its revenue growth but then caused the organization legal troubles due to aggressive sales practices.
Formulations of buprenorphine (the medication assisted therapy that reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings of opioid use disorder) and the combination of buprenorphine and the opioid antidote naloxone are also potentially included in the sale.
Just the previous week on November 1, 2018, Insys had reported positive clinical trial results for its intranasal naloxone spray.
#4 Virginia receives CDC grants to continue fight against opioid crisis
Virginia has received $4.9 million from the CDC, the bulk of which over $4 million will be used to strengthen the state’s Department of Health’s emergency response to the opioid epidemic. This includes incident management for early crisis response, recovery, surveillance data collection, surge management, and countermeasures and mitigation.
The state’s Department of Forensic Services will receive $948,000 in equipment and supplies from the CDC for their toxicology section to improve efficiency in drug testing.
#5 Washington state’s Richland labs charged for laundry list of offenses in fake opioid trial
Two companies in Richland, Washington have been indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s office for offenses related to falsifying reporting of conducting a drug trial. The charges are for the time period between 2016 and 2018 when the companies falsely reported conducting a drug trial to supposedly study an experimental treatment for opioid users suffering from chronic pain.
The labs had enrolled ineligible subjects for a fake drug trial and then forged physician signatures and medical records to give the impression that a doctor had approved the participants. The labs then continued to falsify reported information and data to make it look as if the participants in the study were receiving treatment which they weren’t and received payments from the sponsoring company.