Essential Updates: Comp Medical News January

Welcome to this month’s edition of Comp Medical News. Health industry marketing, informed consent rules, and opioid bribes are your headlines for January 2019.

Informed Consent Could Loosen Under FDA Rules

The FDA has issued a new proposal that would allow institutional review boards (IRBs) to amend or waive entirely informed consent under some circumstances, as long as the intervention under investigation poses “no more than minimal risk to human research participants.”

Read more here.

Researchers Link Opioid Marketing to Deaths

A new analysis published in JAMA Network Open assessed federal data and found that the more opioid-related marketing dollars that were spent in a county, the more opioids were prescribed. According to Kaiser Health News, the study notes that for each three additional payments made to physicians per 100,000 people in a county, opioid overdose deaths were up 18 percent.

Read more here.

Interdisciplinary Approach Found Effective in Pain Rehabilitation

A new survey study from the Mayo Clinic’s Pain Rehabilitation Center assessed two groups in a three week functional restoration program which included interdisciplinary methods for recovery from chronic pain conditions. Pain Medicine News notes that researchers observed that patients who tapered off opioids “showed gains comparable with their non–opioid-using counterparts” and experienced sustained improvements six months after treatment.

Read more here.

U.S. Healthcare Industry Marketing Reaches Nearly $30 Billion

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice has found that annual health care marketing in the United States increased from $17.7 billion in 1997 to at least $29.9 billion in 2016. This is primarily driven by spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements for prescription drugs, (i.e. TV commercials and magazine ads) which increased from $2.1 billion to $9.6 billion.

Read more from Reuters Health here.

Prosecutor Claims Insys Founder Motivated by “Greed”

The founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc., who is facing decades in prison for his alleged role in a kickback scheme to push fentanyl spray, has been called greedy in court. The drugmaker’s former chairman, and four colleagues are the first painkiller manufacturer executives to face trial over conduct authorities say contributed to an opioid abuse crisis that has killed tens of thousands of people a year.

Read more from Reuters Health here.

Sleep Touted for Painkilling Properties

New research in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that sleep deprivation can increase sensitivity to pain. Brain imaging after a sleepless night showed marked increases in activity in the somatosensory cortex and deactivation in the nucleus accumbens and insular cortex, signaling malfunctions in the neural mechanisms that manage physiological responses to painful stimuli.

Read more here.

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