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The Opioid Paradox: Prescription Opioid Use Declines as Heroin Use Increases

By Phil Walls, RPh I am blogging from Maine today as I attend the Maine Comp Summit. My presentation on Sunday, August 28, 2016 was “Understand the Problem First: Why Does Heroin Abuse Matter to a Claims Professional?” The short answer to that question is because, among other things, the Centers for Disease Control now […]

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DEA Rejects Proposal to Change Classification of Marijuana

by Brian Williams, PharmD, Research Fellow Marijuana remains a Schedule I drug In a letter from Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has rejected a proposal to change the federal classification of marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug. By keeping it in Schedule I, the DEA is […]

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The Office of Inspector General Weighs In on Opioids and Compounds

by | Posted in: Clinical, News

By: Phil Walls, RPh, myMatrixx Chief Clinical Officer Both opioid and compound drug overuse and expense have long been a significant concern in workers’ compensation. More recently, national attention has focused on the prescription drug abuse epidemic, especially as it relates to opioid overuse, abuse, addiction and death. The opioid epidemic prompted the Centers for […]

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Buyer Beware!

By Michael Nguyen, PharmD and Phil Walls, RPh PatchWerx Alert If you haven’t heard of PatchWerx yet, please be on the alert for the following products from this manufacturer: In this age of life-saving specialty drugs that cost upwards of $1000 a day, one might think that PatchWerx Labs falls into this category of specialty […]

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Drug of the Month – Vivlodex™ (meloxicam)

By: Krupa Patel, PharmD candidate 2016 and Alan Rook, PharmD What is Vivlodex? Vivlodex (meloxicam) is a single-source brand medication that was FDA approved in October 2015 for the management of osteoarthritis (OA) pain. Vivlodex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that prevents the synthesis of prostaglandins in body tissue by inhibiting COX-1 and COX-2. […]

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Journey to a Guideline: The Process and Overview of the Long-Awaited CDC Guideline on Opioid Prescribing for Primary Care

by Phil Walls, RPh, myMatrixx Chief Clinical Officer and Steven Stanos, DO, myMatrixx Medical Director Will the New CDC Guideline Have an Impact on Opioid Prescribing? Last week, myMatrixx released a blog providing a summary of key concepts gleaned from the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.  Since then, we have received numerous […]

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Get Ahead of the Claim: Watch Out for PPIs

by | Posted in: Clinical, News

By Phil Walls, RPh Chief Clinical Officer, myMatrixx Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPIs are in a category of drugs we are very familiar with in workers’ compensation because they are commonly used to treat heartburn, peptic ulcers and gastric acid reflux in patients that take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). PPIs include drugs like: •  Aciphex® […]

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Uncontrolled and Arbitrary Drug Inflation

By Lisa Luong, PharmD and Michael Nguyen, PharmD When Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired Daraprim® (pyrimethamine), a well-established treatment for toxoplasmosis, Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli made a controversial business decision to astronomically inflate the price of this life-saving medication from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. Daraprim’s overnight price increase of more than 5000% may be the most […]

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New “N” Drug Classifications in Texas and Oklahoma: Essential Information for Claims Professionals

by Phil Walls, myMatrixx Chief Clinical Officer The Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation has announced that both Duragesic® (fentanyl) transdermal system patches and MS Contin® (morphine sulfate) extended-release tablets will be classified as “N” Drugs, effective February 1, 2016.  These drugs belong to a drug class known as long-acting opioids, which also […]

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Drug of the Month: Relistor® A Step-Therapy Approach to Opioid-Induced Constipation

By: Rachel Crowe, PharmD Candidate 2016 Alan Rook, PharmD 1. What is Relistor®? Relistor® (methylnaltrexone bromide), manufactured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., is FDA approved for opioid-induced constipation in patients with chronic non-cancer pain as well as opioid-induced constipation with advanced illness. Opioid analgesics are able to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB) and act […]

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