Essential Updates: Comp Medical News for July

Welcome to this month’s edition of Comp Medical News. Autism and solvents, FDA warnings, and Lyrica are your headlines for July 2019.

 

FDA Warns Opioid Repackers about Manufacturing Standards

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to three repackers of active pharmaceutical ingredients: B&B Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Asclemed USA, Inc., doing business as Enovachem and Spectrum Laboratory Products, Inc. The letters address “significant violations of current good manufacturing practice requirements.” The violations include sub-potent ingredients and contaminants that could make their way into compounded drugs.

Read more here.

 

Second Company Charged in Ohio Over Opioid Crisis Role

Federal prosecutors charged another company in Ohio earlier this month over its alleged role in the opioid crisis. Miami-Luken Inc. and four of its executives will face charges in Cincinnati that they illegally conspired to distribute controlled substances. According to Reuters, federal prosecutors claim that the executives failed in their duty to ensure that drugs it shipped to pharmacies in five states were not diverted, and further, failed to inform the DEA of suspicious orders. Two pharmacists that ordered the suspicious shipments from Miami-Luken were charged separately. Miami-Luken stopped doing business last year.

Read more here.

 

FDA Approves Lyrica Generic

The FDA approved multiple applications for generic versions of the commonly-prescribed anticonvulsant drug Lyrica last week. Lyrica is usually prescribed in workers’ comp for fibromyalgia and for the management of neuropathic pain associated with spinal cord injury. The FDA granted approvals for the generic versions of Lyrica to Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Alkem Laboratories, Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, MSN Laboratories Ltd., Rising Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sciegen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Read more here.

 

CDC: U.S. Overdose Deaths Declined in 2018

The CDC announced that drug overdose deaths declined by about five percent from about 72,000 in 2017 to 68,500 in 2018. The modest improvement is the first time these numbers have dropped since 1999, and could indicate that opioid deaths could finally be trending downward, although these data address all overdose deaths not just opioids. Reports indicate that overdose deaths from stimulants such as methamphetamine have actually increased over the last several years, even as overall numbers improve.

Read more here.

 

Industrial Solvent Exposure in the Womb Linked to Autism

Researchers publishing in the June 2019 edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine determined that exposure to 16 common industrial solvents was correlated with neurological or congenital abnormalities in children. The researchers assessed the work history of 750 mothers and 891 fathers to determine the level of occupational exposure to solvents in the workplace such as brake fluid and pesticides. Mothers exposed to any solvents were 50 percent more likely to have a child with autism than women without this exposure. Greater solvent exposure was associated with an 85 percent higher autism risk. The study was not designed to look at autism, nor was it able to parse the risk associated with specific solvents.

Read more here.

 

MedPage Today: New App Allowing Patient/Physician Texting Could Pose Problems

In a video discussion, Kevin Campbell, MD, for MedPage Today, addresses the problems and advantages of a new app that will allow patients to text their physicians. The app is backed by an AI-function that acts as a diagnostic go-between before patients get to the real doctor chat. Anthem will launch the app in the coming weeks. Such technology is growing within all sectors of healthcare, including workers’ comp, as telemedicine options become more sophisticated.

Read/watch here.

 

Image Credit: Fisher Scientific

 

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