Thursday, May 15, 2014

VA Dangerous Drugs

VA Docs Defied Opiate Rules in Treating Vets, Audit Finds
NBC News

VA medical centers defied some agency policies on supplying opiates to veterans in 2012, including simultaneously prescribing thousands of ex-troops with narcotic painkillers and psychoactive drugs -– a combination that’s been linked to lethal overdoses, a new audit shows.

The review, conducted by the independent Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG), found that 92.6 percent of veterans who are chronically prescribed opioid drugs (such as Oxycodone) also were prescribed benzodiazepines (such as Xanax and Valium) -– a mix “strongly associated with death from opioid overdose.”

The audit, which collected data from a population of about a half million veterans, was first reported on by the Center for Investigative Reporting. The VA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

In addition, about one third of the veterans prescribed opioids “were on take-home opioids for more than 90 days,” the audit showed.
read more here

But if you are outraged over this, then this will really get your blood boiling because yet again, history stops when reporters want it to. These reports go back to 2004.
Links to medications suspected with non-combat deaths

Prozac Platoon America's Medicated Army

Sen. Benjamin Cardin wants study on prescriptions-suicide link

Medicating the military

Marine died in his sleep; autopsy lists 27 medications

And then there is this one

VA awards new contract for debunked PTSD drug
BY BOB BREWIN 08/25/2011

This is the fourteenth story in an ongoing series.

The Veterans Affairs Department continues to issue contracts to purchase an anti-psychotic drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder despite research showing the drug, risperidone, is no more effective than a placebo.

Nextgov reported Aug. 22 that VA spent $717 million over the past decade to purchase risperidone, the generic name for Risperdal, a second-generation anti-psychotic drug originally developed by the Janssen Pharmaceuticals division of Johnson & Johnson to treat severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

VA doctors prescribe the drug to treat PTSD, but a study by department researchers published Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded, "treatment with risperidone compared with placebo did not reduce PTSD symptoms."

Despite these findings, on Aug. 11, VA awarded a contract to Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. for more than 200,000 bottles of risperidone containing more than 20 million pills in multiple dosages. The announcement of the contract to the Morgantown, W.V., generic drug manufacturer did not provide a dollar value for the contract.

There are a lot more but you get the idea.

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