Pharmacist helps GSU student get his insulin

Here’s the story of how a Georgia State University student — who didn’t have health insurance — was finally able to get the insulin he needed to survive without resorting to buying it off Craigslist.

Free samples from a clinic helped tide him over until a pharmacist at the Morehouse School of Medicine helped him qualify for a patient assistance program.

AJC investigation: “Georgia medical board easy on opioid violators”

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

[A]n investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that the arm of state government charged with protecting the public from dangerous doctors — the Georgia Composite Medical Board — rarely yanks the licenses of physicians who behave more like dealers than healers.

Years into the opioid crisis, the Georgia board has taken public action against only a handful of doctors a year for improper opioid prescribing, the AJC found in a review of board actions since 2011. In almost every case, the doctor-dominated board allowed the errant prescribers to keep seeing patients, even if they have recklessly prescribed pain killers or been arrested on drug charges.

U.S. Rep. and pharmacist Buddy Carter weighed in: “I get very frustrated with the Composite Board of Medicine that they’re not doing more to reel in some of these physicians who are obviously out of control,” he said.

North Georgia drive-bys continue this year

Drive-by flu-shots, that is, provided by county health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens, and Whitfield counties.

Municipalities saving money with overseas drugs

Just to be clear, we don’t support what’s happening here, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of it.

Cities, counties, and schools across the country are buying their employees’ drugs from Canada and other countries. The legality is questionable*, but it’s saving local governments millions — and that’s tax dollars we’re talking.

Drug manufacturers try to say that drugs bought internationally aren’t safe, but that claim pretty much gets a collective eye roll; this is Canada, England, and New Zealand we’re talking about — not East No-Where-Land.

From the story:

While the nation grapples with soaring prices of drugs, dozens of cities, counties and school districts across the country have quietly found a solution they say protects their budgets and saves workers money: They are helping their employees buy medicines from pharmacies in Canada and overseas, where prices are up to 80 percent cheaper.

* Stores and pharmacies aren’t allowed to do this, but municipalities have been for decades in some cases. (What, you see a footnote and think it’s gonna be a joke? We can be serious down here too.)

The New York Times discovers clawbacks

Welcome to the party, Old Gray.

Could pharmacists act as healthcare professionals?

So posits Slate, in a piece written by a medical student, “Could Pharmacists Help Fix Health Care?

[A[s costs continue to grow for health care systems here and around the world, pharmacists have become increasingly utilized as direct patient care providers, rather than just as overqualified dispensaries.

The conclusion is an unqualified “Yes” — and that’s a good thing. “The possible rise of pharmacists in American health care, resulting from the CVS-Aetna merger,” he writes, “could ultimately help alleviate primary care shortages across much of our country.”

PCOM opening second Georgia campus

Expected to open in August 2019, it’s going to be training doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOMs) to serve patients in rural communities. It’ll be called PCOM South Georgia. No word yet on whether it will expand its curriculum into pharmacy.

Canola oil might be bad for your brain

Of course it’s too good to be true. Turns out that a diet rich in it might hasten dementia … in mice, anyway. Here’s the AJC’s coverage of the story. Grain of salt, though, folks.