A new study from the journal Health Affairs found that the availability of medical marijuana significantly correlates with lower rates of prescribing other drugs. The authors of the study, Ashley C. Bradford and W. David Bradford, looked at data on all prescriptions filled by patients with Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013.
(Medicare Part D is the federally funded health insurance program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries, who are people 65 and over or people who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance).
The researchers looked at prescribing patterns for medical conditions that states allow to be treated with medical marijuana, like anxiety, seizures and glaucoma.
In states where medical marijuana was legal, Medicare saved $165.2 million in 2013.
However, as NPR points out, insurance plans don’t cover marijuana, even in states where it has been legalized as a medication, because it is still a Schedule 1 drug under Federal law. So in some ways, the cost has not been “saved” but rather shifted to patients, who must pay for marijuana out of pocket (and sometimes experience many other difficultiesobtaining it). But one of the study’s authors explained that if medical marijuana became a regular part of patient care nationally, money would still be saved overall, because marijuana is cheaper than other drugs.
The graphic below from the study shows the change in daily doses filled annually per physician in states that have adopted medical marijuana laws. The red line indicates the previous standard. The highest reduction in prescribing other medications was seen for pain—highly relevant for those concerned about opioid prescribing levels. (The dramatic fall in pain medication prescribing should be taken in the context of the national decline since 2013).
Conservative suggests Trump’s racist rhetoric will incite worse than ‘send her back’ chants: ‘One shudders to wonder’
In a column for the Washington Post, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Kathleen Parker said the refusal by Republican lawmakers and the evangelical community to condemn Donald Trump's racist rhetoric is paving the way for something far worse than mere "send her back" chants.
Under a headline that bluntly states, "Those who don’t condemn Trump’s racism are complicit in his bigotry," Parker gets right to her opinion of the president, writing, "Going out on a limb here: President Trump is a racist. And a sexist. And a xenophobic nationalist. Among other things. Not to name call or anything."
BUSTED: Leaked drug exec emails showed them encouraging opioid abuse to the point people would eat them ‘like Doritos’
On Friday, the Washington Post published excerpts from a damning series of emails released in a landmark case in Cleveland around the irresponsibility of drug manufacturers and suppliers in contributing to the opioid crisis.
In one email exchange, Victor Borelli, an account manager for pharmaceuticals corporation Mallinckrodt, told KeySource Medical vice president Steve Cochrane that 1,200 bottles of 30mg Oxycodone tablets had been shipped, to which Cochrane replied, "Keep 'em comin'! Flyin' out of there. It's like people are addicted to these things or something. Oh, wait, people are..." and Borelli responded, "Just like Doritos keep eating. We'll make more."
Here’s the ugly racist history behind tipping — and how it still persists today
On Saturday, writing for Politico, minister and civil rights activist Rev. Dr. William Barber applauded House Democrats' plans to not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, but eliminate the much lower "tipped wage" of $2.13 an hour and require tipped workers to also be paid at least the minimum.
This is important, wrote Barber, because the roots of businesses forcing their workers to rely on tips for a proper wage is deeply rooted in America's history of racial tension.