Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, September 18, 2017
Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers
Note: this is a long, informative article. I have included a few excerpts from the article.
At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.
The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are often more expensive.
ProPublica and The New York Times analyzed Medicare prescription drug plans covering 35.7 million people in the second quarter of this year. Only one-third of the people covered, for example, had any access to Butrans, a painkilling skin patch that contains a less-risky opioid, buprenorphine. And every drug plan that covered lidocaine patches, which are not addictive but cost more than other generic pain drugs, required that patients get prior approval for them.
In contrast, almost every plan covered common opioids and very few required any prior approval.
The insurers have also erected more hurdles to approving addiction treatments than for the addictive substances themselves, the analysis found.
Readings from the Prophet Hosea for Monday, September 18, 2017
The prophets reveal our true spiritual condition. Israel professes knowledge of God, yet spurns the good that God’s direction would give them. They make decisions separate from the will of God. They worship and serve substitutes for God. Notice how this is presented in Hosea 8.
Hosea 8.2-4 – Israel cries to me, “My God, we—Israel—know you!” Israel has spurned the good; the enemy shall pursue him. They made kings, but not through me; they set up princes, but without my knowledge. With their silver and gold they made idols for their own destruction.
God gives warnings so people will actually turn from self-defeating behavior and receive his direction. Without a doubt this is needed today.
Prayers for Monday, September 18, 2017
Dear God, please reveal to us our idolatrous ways. Help us to follow your good, perfect and loving direction.