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What We're Reading: Sessions and Medical Marijuana Research; Congress Sets Opioid Hearing; Suffering in Puerto Rico

AJMC Staff
Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Kamala Harris ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions to get the DEA to allow medical marijuana research; current and former executives of pharmaceutical distributors are scheduled to testify before Congress May 8 about their role in the opioid epidemic; 14 patients on Vieques, a Puerto Rican island just east of the main island, are flying 3 times a week for lifesaving dialysis more than 6 months after Hurricane Maria.

Allow Medical Marijuana Research, Senators Ask Sessions

Bipartisan senators wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask him to cease efforts by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to slow medical marijuana research. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, said that they are concerned the Justice Department is effectively blocking the DEA from taking action on at least 25 formal applications from manufacturers to produce federally approved research-grade marijuana, The Hill reported. Such research is needed for “evidence-based decision making,” they wrote.

 

Pharmaceutical Distributors to Testify on Opioids Before Congress

Current and former executives of pharmaceutical distributors are scheduled to testify before Congress May 8 about their role in the opioid epidemic, reported The Washington PostThe hearing before a House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight panel is being likened to when tobacco executives were called to testify before Congress in 1994. Under oath, the executives are expected to face tough questions about why their companies sent so many highly addictive pain pills into West Virginia and other states, fueling the drug crisis.

 

Slow Recovery in Puerto Rico Means Hardship for Dialysis Patients

Fourteen patients on Vieques, a Puerto Rican island just east of the main island, are flying 3 times a week for lifesaving dialysis more than 6 months after Hurricane Maria because the only hospital and dialysis clinic was destroyed, Kaiser Health News reported. When patients with diabetes and kidney failure will be able to regain their treatments locally is uncertain, as federal, local officials, and nonprofit groups debate strategy and finances. The responsibility of paying for the flights, which turn into 12-hour ordeals to get from Vieques to the main island, continues to switch between groups.

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VA Won't Research Medical Marijuana for Chronic Pain or PTSD Among Veterans
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Health Foundation Reports on Conditions in Puerto Rico 6 Months After Hurricane Maria
Studies Show Decrease in Opioid Prescription in States With Medical, Recreational Marijuana Laws
Doctors Wait to See How CMS' Opioid Changes Play Out for Patients in Pain
 
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