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What We're Reading: Access to Buprenorphine; E-Cigarette Evidence; Pharma Against Superbugs


The Drug Enforcement Administration is allowing more health practitioners prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction; a public health review found mixed results on the outcome of using e-cigarettes based on age; a new index has graded pharmaceutical companies on how well they are fighting against the spread of superbugs.

DEA Allows More Buprenorphine Prescribing

As the opioid epidemic continues in the United States, the government has responded by allowing more healthcare practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine, which is used to treat addiction. Reuters reported that the latest change by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will help open up access to the treatment in rural areas of the country. The DEA is allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to become qualifying practitioners to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine.

Mixed Results for E-Cigarette Outcomes

A public health review has found that outcomes of using e-cigarettes vary depending on the age of the user. Children who use e-cigarettes are more likely to go on to try regular cigarettes, but there is evidence that e-cigarettes help adults quit smoking, according to NPR. The report from the National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine also found that e-cigarettes do contain some harmful byproducts, but less so than regular cigarettes, and that most e-cigarettes still contain nicotine.

Grading Pharma on Addressing the Superbug Threat

A new index is rating pharmaceutical companies on how well they are fighting antibiotic resistance. According to The New York Times, Mylan was named the best generic drug maker and GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson were the best of the big companies. The Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark (ARB) judged companies on several criteria, such as having new antibiotics in development, having measures to encourage prudent use of existing drugs, and clean manufacturing. The British and Dutch governments funded the research that was used to create the ARB.

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