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 maintaining that marijuana has no currently …

The Office of Inspector General Weighs In on Opioids and Compounds

by Phil Walls, RPh
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 Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish a …

Buyer Beware!

by Michael Nguyen, PharmD, CPh, Director of Clinical Services
Phil Walls, RPh, Chief Clinical Officer

Michael Nguyen

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 drug manufacturers.  However, that is not the case! …

Drug of the Month – Vivlodex™ (meloxicam)

by Alan Rook, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist
Krupa Patel, PharmD candidate

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. Current Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) suggest that the use of …

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

by Phil Walls, RPh, Chief Clinical Officer
Steven Stanos, DO

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 questions from clients and industry insiders regarding whether or not this latest set of guidelines …

Get Ahead of the Claim: Watch Out for PPIs

by Phil Walls, RPh
Chief Clinical Officer

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® (rabeprazole) •  Dexilent® (dexlansoprazole) •  Nexium® (esomeprazole) •  Prevacid® …

Uncontrolled and Arbitrary Drug Inflation

by Michael Nguyen, PharmD, CPh, Director of Clinical Services
Lisa Luong, PharmD

Michael Nguyen

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 egregious recent example of drug inflation, but it …

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

by Phil Walls, RPh
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 includes current “N” Drugs like OxyContin® and …

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

by Alan Rook, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacist
Rachel Crow, PharmD candidate

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 on the mu opioid receptors in the brain, triggering …