DEA cuts pain-pill production

That’s one way to do it: DEA is mandating a 20 percent cut in opioid production for 2018. (If you didn’t realize the DEA could enforce manufacturing quotas, you’re not alone.)

“It’s all fun and games until some hillbilly threatens to rip out your eyeball”

A comedy about a retail pharmacy? Yep — it’s called “Vials” and it’s from Amazon. Check out the trailer here:

Giant Eagle turns to MTM … and kicks butt

It’s a medium-sized regional chain, but it got into the MTM game in a big way. And it hit the big time.

In 2013, the chain began efforts to make its MTM services more robust. Pharmacist clinical coordinators traveled from store to store, training pharmacists and technicians to perform MTM interventions such as comprehensive and targeted medication reviews.

Even against national players, it won United Healthcare’s Targeted Intervention Program (TIP) Challenge in 2013, 2014, and 2015, and placed high in 2016.

Many health care plans now contract with Giant Eagle directly instead of going through vendors, and the chain has added a clinical call center to support its growing operations.

If you’re looking to go beyond filling bottles, that’s one example worth following.

It only took 11 years

But tobacco companies are finally, grudgingly admitting that their products are dangerous. Smoking kills 1,200 people a day, and now Altria/Phillip Morris and R.J. Reynolds will have to spend about $30 million admitting it over the next year.

They spend about $8 billion each year in marketing.

Australia took a different tack, requiring cigarette boxes to have some serious warnings:

Today’s number-two story

To change their gut bacteria after C. diff treatment, swallowing poop is both effective and preferable to having it, um, delivered the other way*.

The only downside, as one patient noted, was the sheer number of pills. Participants had to down 40 within an hour, or one dose every minute and a half.

One bit of good news:

In reality, the pills actually don’t have any taste or flavor, which is probably best, all things considered.

* We are not going to spell it out for you. Ask your mother.

Maybe you can get a coupon

Gilead is selling it’s hep-C cure Sovaldi in China … but at a fraction of the U.S. price. A small fraction — we’re talking less than $9,000 for a full course, compared to $84,000 here at home.

Once again, there is no headline I could write that the boss would approve

Viagra is now available over the counter in the UK.

And while we’re on the subject: “Finally Putting Some Fun in Erectile Dysfunction.”

An $1,877 ear piercing — and other reasons America’s healthcare costs are the world’s highest

Wasteful medical care — whether intentional (like that ear piercing), because of an abundance of caution, or simple overtreatment — costs us billions. And “us” means as individuals and as taxpayers. Read it and weep.

Here comes the flu

Widespread in Oklahoma and Louisiana, but Georgia is in the next tier: “regional.” We know you’ve had your shots, but make sure your patients do, too.