prescription drugs

Jaime / Flickr, Creative Commons

Saturday is Drug Take Back Day for people across the country. Educators with a program out of Cornell University and SUNY are particularly urging people who live near the Great Lakes to bring leftover prescription drugs to nearby collection sites.

Helen Domske, with Sea Grant New York, says unused prescription drugs are often dumped down the drain or the toilet. That means antibiotics, hormones and vitamins are making their way into our waterways, threatening marine life.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Eight police departments in Onondaga County will now have needle and drug drop boxes installed at their facilities. They include the Baldwinsville, Camillus, Cicero, DeWitt, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus and Syracuse police departments. It is part of an effort to reduce the number of heroin and opioid addictions in the county.

Chris Potter / Flickr

You care about your health, but it can be expensive. Between doctor’s visits, co-pays, and prescription medication, the final bill can be more than you expect. But what if there was a way to make it cheaper?

This week on “Take Care,” Matthew Chaiken tells us about his new company Blink Health, and how they’re able to cut out the middle man when it comes to buying prescription drugs at the pharmacy. Chaiken co-founded Blink Health with his brother Geoffrey in 2014, and they launched the company’s website and mobile app this past February.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to know what New Yorkers think the state can do to address the heroin and opioid epidemic. Hochul is traveling with a drug task force panel across the state, listening to local experts share their experiences.

“What we’re going through right now in New York is nothing short of a public health crisis,” Hochul said.

Speaking at Syracuse University, Hochul said the drug task force is putting together a plan to present to the governor and the legislature before their session ends in June.

Storing & disposing of prescription drugs

Apr 22, 2016
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A doctor or pharmacist may give a patient instructions on how to take prescription medication, but how to store that drug is not often discussed. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Elizabeth Higdon, an instructor in pharmacy practice at Albany College of Pharmacy, about how to store your prescriptions to maintain their effectiveness.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on how doctors prescribe opioids for chronic pain. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Rep. John Katko want to see those guidelines pushed even further.

Speaking at an addiction prevention agency in Syracuse, Gillibrand said doctors do not have guidelines for what to prescribe patients with acute pain such as a broken arm or tooth extraction, when the pain is short in duration and not chronic.

healthpocket.com

Shopping season for the Medicare Advantage plans is underway.

In Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne Counties, the average premium for 2016 Medicare Advantage plans is $74 dollars, about a 10 percent increase over last year.

On average in New York state, most monthly premiums are steady, but out-of-pocket costs for medications are up.

Older adults in New York may find they’re paying less each month for Medicare Advantage.

Key Foster / Flickr

The Onondaga County Drug Task Force continues to look for ways to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands. A new pilot program launched this month will place them in the hands of police.

Nine police agencies, including the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, are putting out collection bins in their offices for unused prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as used needles.

Gail Banach, of the Upstate New York Poison Center, says the idea is to create a safe place to drop drugs that otherwise could be abused.

e-MagineArt.com / Flickr

Health care advocacy organizations are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill on his desk that would help ensure doctors have the ultimate say over what medications their patients take.  

If your doctor prescribes a medication, your insurance will cover it. Right? That concept is called “provider prevails.” In other words, the medical provider gets to be the judge about what drugs the patient should take.

That authority particularly matters for people living with AIDS, epilepsy, and certain mental health conditions who take expensive medications.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield now has a better idea of why four out of every ten upstate New York adults don’t always take prescriptions as prescribed. The insurance company got the answers from patients through a comprehensive survey.

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New York lawmakers have delayed a deadline that would require prescription medications to be electronic. Many doctors in the state needed more time to put the necessary technology in place. 

Many prescribers in New York already submit scripts electronically, but federal requirements mandate a higher level of security for electronically prescribed controlled substances to prevent fraud.

Lorraine Rapp / WRVO

This forum aired on Sunday, July 20 at 7 p.m.

Heroin is the latest illegal drug to become a scourge on communities in upstate New York and throughout the nation -- and it feels like it happened overnight.

What is causing this rise in heroin abuse? In part in can be linked to widespread abuse of painkillers and an effort to clamp down on them. Who is using it and how does it affect those who use it? Whether it's actor Philip Seymour Hoffman or SUNY Oswego students, heroin is impacting a wide range of socioeconomic groups.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With heroin abuse raging among young adults and in rural communities, New York's senior senator is calling for a new state-wide database to be created so local law enforcement agencies can better track the drug's use.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says a database for heroin hospitalizations and arrests would be the first in the nation. 

"The problem is that the increase in heroin abuse - it was going down for a long time, now it’s going up - so we have to catch up," Schumer told reporters Wednesday.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is firing another salvo in the war against prescription drug abuse. He's proposing that the Drug Enforcement Administration ease restrictions that make it harder for pharmacies to let people bring in controlled substances for disposal.

It's a problem that's getting worse in upstate New York, according to Michelle Caliva, director of the Upstate Poison Control Center. She's looked at the number of calls involving abuse of prescription pain killers over the last decade.

VCU Libraries / Flickr

Prescription drugs can be helpful to those that need them. But for others they can be dangerous or even deadly. This week on “Take Care,” we talk to New York State Assemblyman Michael Cusick, the lead sponsor behind a piece of legislation called I-STOP, or Internet System for Tracking Over Prescribing, which is intended to serve as a national model to end prescription painkiller abuse.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Assemblyman Cusick.

The I-STOP law: a doctor worries for his patients

Aug 25, 2013
Shawn Honnick / Flickr

The new I-STOP law passed by the New York State Legislature is aimed at reducing the amount of overdoses on prescription painkillers; although some groups worry it might do more harm than good. This week on “Take Care,” we talk to Dr. Joseph Navone, president of the Upstate New York Society of Medical Oncology and Hematology, a group that specializes in pain and pain relief for patients.

Click 'Read More' to hear out interview with Dr. Joseph Navone.

The tragedies caused by prescription drug abuse, addictions, overdoses and ruined lives are not unique to New York state, but Assemblyman Michael Cusick realized a couple years ago that Staten Island, where his district is located, could be considered the epicenter of the problem.

“We have numbers that are staggering of people overdosing from prescription drugs and the theft of prescription drugs," Cusick said. "The misuse is rampant here on Staten Island."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his assault on the misuse of prescription drugs with a proposal to tighten control over the painkiller hydrocodone.

bradleypjohnson / Flickr

New York state lawmakers have approved legislation requiring doctors to issue drug prescriptions electronically within three years.