prescription drugs

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New Hampshire officials call it a public health epidemic: record numbers of Granite Staters are overdosing and dying because of opioid drugs, especially heroin.   We’ll find out how this problem grew so quickly, and the state’s responses to it, including a relatively new prescription drug monitoring program.

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via SEC.gov

State lawmakers are wading into the debate over the controversial new painkiller Zohydro.

A Senate committee will take up legislation Tuesday that would impose an 18-month moratorium on the new drug, an especially potent formulation of hydrocodone.

Zohydro hit the market in March and is aimed at patients who need long-term, around-the-clock pain relief. It differs from other hydrocodone-based medications, such as Vicodin, because it isn’t combined with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Police in Manchester are dealing with the effects of a rising rate of prescription drug abuse. But it's not the only part of New Hampshire seeing the problem.

To learn more about the state's approach to curbing abuse of prescription drugs, All Things Considered host Brady Carlson talks with Dr. Seddon Savage, who serves on the state's Call to Action prescription drug task force. That multidisciplinary group is developing New Hampshire's prescription drug monitoring program.

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Over the past decade, psycho-stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin have crossed over from treatment for people diagnosed with ADHD to black market cognitive enhancement.  Studies show that as many as one in three students have been diagnosed with ADHD or used ADHD medications illicitly as a study aid. The demand has led to shortages of the meds in pharmacies across the country and questions about addiction and dependency.  Will Oremus, staff writer for slate.com wrote about his own experience with ADHD drugs, and the somewhat arbitrary nature of what is legal­--coffee and nicotine--and what is illicit.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

“I have Crohn’s Disease, I have diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and I had a stroke. From all of this, I am on medication for depression as well.”

Chalk it up to bad genes: Amanda St-Amour struggles with a lot of health conditions.

She’s 30, lives in Merrimack, and pulls out a small laundry basket full of pill bottles.

“Basically, I take about 1, 2, 3…15 pills a morning.”

Recently, one pill has gone missing from the stack. It’s a drug called Trilipix, which St-Amour has taken for years to keep her triglyceride levels down.

02_2 free UseAsDirectedMedBottle
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Today the US Supreme Court heard arguments related to the case of a New Hampshire woman seriously injured after taking a generic drug

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If you break a 30-second drug  commercial into parts, you’d hear about 7 seconds of why you should be taking a product, followed by a breathless lists of potential side effects and “ask your doctor today!” That list of potential side effects satisfy legal obligations, but doesn’t stop millions of people from making pharmaceuticals a multi-billion dollar business.  Still, the mind is a powerful thing – and new research shows that informing patients about possible side-effects makes them more likely to experience them.  It’s a phenomenon called “the nocebo effect”.  Chris Berdik is a

We discuss what happens as the medication generation grows up. Journalist and author, Kaitlin Bell Barnett joins us to talk about her new book, Dosed, which describes the experiences of young adults who spent childhood taking psychiatric meds, such as Prozac. Barnett explores the questions many in this generation are now asking: who am i really, after all these years on medication and what might be the long-term effects of these drugs?

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Hospitals Go High Tech to Secure Drugs

Jul 16, 2012
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Denis Fortier is Director of Pharmacy at Cheshire Medical Center in Keene. When he started in the field 30 years ago, that job involved loading carts with Dixie cups full of prescriptions.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

New Hampshire will join 48 other states in monitoring prescription drugs under a new law signed by Governor John Lynch.

We discuss what happens as the medication generation grows up. Journalist and author, Kaitlin Bell Barnett joins us to talk about her new book, Dosed, which describes the experiences of young adults who spent childhood taking psychiatric meds, such as Prozac. Barnett explores the questions many in this generation are now asking: who am i really, after all these years on medication and what might be the long-term effects of these drugs? 

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