Category Archives: public health

Adults can overdose on two pills of potent new painkiller

Two members of Maine’s congressional delegation are pressuring federal regulators to revoke approval of a new painkiller that’s among the most powerful on the market. Congressman Mike Michaud and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree signed a letter in December to U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking her to reconsider approval of the narcotic Zohydro ER, awarded last […]

Did MaineCare’s crackdown on opiates fuel our state’s heroin problem?

Not long after MaineCare cracked down on the availability of narcotic prescriptions early last year, police reported a spike in heroin abuse. Maine addiction specialists agree: They say the restrictions, while working to prevent some Mainers from getting hooked on painkillers, also squeeze the drug supply to fuel addiction elsewhere. Enter Maine’s growing heroin problem, […]

You don’t have to call your doctor to get lab results anymore

Patients can now get their medical test results directly from the laboratory, without going through a doctor’s office. The new rule, part of the Obama administration’s effort to give patients more say in their health care, particularly affects Maine and a dozen other states that permit labs to release results only to health care providers. Announced on […]

Maine weighs wider use of drug that prevents overdose deaths

Maine’s failing to prevent drug deaths by limiting distribution of a medication that counteracts overdoses and punishing those who call 911 to report overdoses, according to a recent analysis. But new legislation could change the state’s approach. The analysis, performed in October by the Trust for America’s Health, was publicized again this week in light […]