prescription drugs

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Florida: Physician Dispensing Associated With Unnecessary Prescribing Of Opioids

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A new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found evidence that physician dispensing encouraged some physicians to unnecessarily prescribe strong opioids. The study analyzed the prescribing behavior after Florida banned physician dispensing of strong opioids.

The authors of the study, "The Impact of Physician Dispensing on Opioid Use," expected little change in the percentage of patients getting strong opioids — only a change from physician-dispensed to pharmacy-dispensed. Instead of finding an increase in pharmacy-dispensed strong opioids, the study found no material change.

Rather, there was an increase in the percentage of patients receiving physician-dispensed weaker pain medications—specifically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., ibuprofen)—from 24.1 percent to 25.8 percent, and the percentage receiving weaker (not banned) opioids increased from 9.1 percent to 10.1 percent.

The study found there was a high level of compliance with the ban by physician-dispensers. Prior to the reforms, 3.9 percent of injured workers received strong opioids dispensed by physicians during the first six months after their injuries. After the ban, only 0.5 percent of patients with new injuries received physician-dispensed strong opioids.

Mississippi: Former Pastor Says Marijuana Is God's Medicine

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A former pastor in Mississippi has something he wants you to know about marijuana.

"If you believe in God, you have to believe in cannabis," Al Pollard said in an interview with WDAM-TV. "It's a plant."

Pollard, a paraplegic who is on an exuberant mission to educate Mississippians about cannabis, wants it to be legalized, taxed, and regulated, reports The Clarion-Ledger.

"It's God's medicine," Pollard said.

He became paralyzed in a diving accident at age 18. Pollard said that during the first six months after his accident, he was prescribed to more than a dozen medicines a day, including prescription narcotics for pain.

After leaving physical therapy, he stopped taking those prescription drugs and starting using marijuana.

"I recently came clean with my doctor telling her I've never taken medicine since my release from rehab," Pollard said.

"She was shocked, but believed me. I told her marijuana is my medicine and that it helps me," he said. "Maintaining a moderate use has proven to be the cause of my healthy condition."

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