prescription

Doctor’s Panel Eyes Small Number Of Florida Physicians Making Pot Approvals

Sep 4, 2019
Bud from a Cannabis plant.
News Service of Florida / NSF

As the number of Floridians allowed to use medical marijuana continues to grow, new data shows that a relative handful of doctors have been responsible for a majority of the patients approved for pot. 

When they started practicing medicine, most surgeons say, there was little or no information about just how many pain pills patients needed after specific procedures.

Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
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State health officials are preparing to revamp the application process for medical-marijuana businesses, with the hope of issuing up to seven new licenses before the end of the year, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office told The News Service of Florida on Thursday. 

It's the middle of the night and you wake up to the disturbing sound of your little one crying and sniffling with a cold, sore throat or fever. And, if you're like many parents, you reach into the medicine cabinet, seeking some relief.

But giving medication — and getting the dose right — can be more challenging than you might think. Jesse and Shannan Ridall live in Palmyra, Pa., with their three young children. Jesse says the lined markings on dosing devices of children's medicine can be confusing, especially when they show both teaspoons and milliliters.

Senate Bill Seeks To Rein In Prescription Painkillers

Oct 24, 2017
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A Senate Republican has filed a sweeping measure aimed at keeping patients from getting hooked on prescription painkillers.

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For people who take multiple medications to manage chronic conditions, traipsing back and forth from the pharmacy to pick up pills can make it harder to stick to their doctors’ orders. But because insurers often don’t allow consumers to fill partial prescriptions to make  medication renewal dates align, patients sometimes have no choice but to frequently shuttle to the drug store for refills.

The number of doctors who each prescribe millions of dollars of medications annually in Medicare's drug program has soared, driven by expensive hepatitis C treatments and rising drug prices overall, federal data obtained by ProPublica show.

The number of providers who topped the $5 million mark for prescriptions increased more than tenfold, from 41 in 2011 to 514 in 2015. The number of prescribers — mostly physicians but also nurse practitioners — exceeding $10 million in drug costs jumped from two to 70 over the same time period, according to the data.

The battle continues to rage between drug companies that are trying to make as much money as possible and insurers trying to drive down drug prices. And consumers are squarely in the middle.

That's because, increasingly, prescription insurers are threatening to kick drugs off their lists of approved medications if the manufacturers won't give them big discounts.

Florida is still grappling with the pill mill crisis of four years ago.  But with the problem of too many prescriptions receding in the rear-view mirror, the problem now is too few.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Consider this past weekend a dry run -- in spite of all the rain – for tropical storm and hurricane preparation.  Tropical Storm Erika never made it to Florida, but emergency officials spent much of last week urging people to get ready. 

High Cost Of Diabetes Drugs Often Goes Overlooked

Aug 18, 2015

When it comes to treating chronic conditions, diabetes drugs aren't nearly as sexy as say, Sovaldi, last year's breakthrough hepatitis C drug that offers a cure for the chronic liver infection at a price approaching six figures.

Yet an estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes — about 10 times the number of people with hepatitis C — and many of them will take diabetes drugs for the rest of their lives. Cost increases for both old and new drugs are forcing many to scramble to pay for them.

A Bradenton man who used to work as a paramedic in New Jersey has been charged with practicing medicine without a license after trying to treat his girlfriend with an IV during what he believed to be an acute asthma attack, the Bradenton Herald reports.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

When a hurricane is approaching, everyone needs to have a plan in place. When you have medical needs, that preparation becomes even more critical.

Dr. Theo Sai is the chief medical officer for senior products for Humana in Central Florida.  He's also lived through several hurricanes.  

“I remember the worst one for me was in the Bahamas, where I was on the first floor and it was a pretty bad hurricane, and Nassau typically floods a lot,” Said said.

When he offers advice on preparing for hurricanes, it comes from his own experience.

Florida Senate

Opting for stronger privacy controls despite law enforcement concerns, the Senate Health Policy Committee has approved changes to Florida’s prescription drug database.

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  A jury has decided that a Walgreens pharmacy should pay $1.38 million to an Atlantic Beach patient who was injured by a prescription overdose, the Florida Times-Union reports. According to testimony, the patient’s prescription of Phenergan for food poisoning was written with a dose four times too high.