Washington Post: Drilling into the DEA’s pain pill database. “For the first time, a database maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that tracks the path of every single pain pill sold in the United States — by manufacturers and distributors to pharmacies in every town and city — is being made public.”
Vice: Facebook Is Censoring Posts That Could Save Opioid Users’ Lives. “In its efforts to stop opioid sales on the site, Facebook appears to be blocking people who warn users about poisonous batches of drugs or who supply materials used to test for fentanyls and other contaminants. Just as 1990s web security filters mistook breast cancer research centers for porn sites, today’s internet still seems to have trouble distinguishing between drug dealers and groups trying to reduce the death toll from the overdose crisis. VICE reviewed screenshots and emails to corroborate the claims made in this story.”
KRMG: New Online Tool Provides Patients More Info On Their Medical Costs . “The Medicine Assistance Tool, or MAT, was created by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) to provide patients with more information about their medicine costs and help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through various biopharmaceutical industry programs.”
ZDNet: Meds prescriptions for 78,000 patients left in a database with no password. “A MongoDB database was left open on the internet without a password, and by doing so, exposed the personal details and prescription information for more than 78,000 US patients.”
PR Web: Nonprofit Launches National Network to Track All Drug Diversion Within Hospitals and Health Systems to Combat Opioid Crisis (PRESS RELEASE). “The Healthcare Diversion Network, a nonprofit association dedicated to preventing drug diversion, today announced the launch of HealthCareDiversion.org, a first-of-its-kind forum that aims to compile all known healthcare diversion incidents into a single national database. The new online forum is the first step in building national dialogue and transparency around one of the most critical, yet often unspoken, risks associated with the opioid crisis.” It is expected that eventually the database will be opened to the public.
TechCrunch: Google makes it easier to find prescription drug disposal sites. “In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, Google will begin labeling places where people can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Now, users can find clearly labeled drug disposal sites directly from searches for things like ‘drug drop off near me’ or ‘medication disposal.'”
MIT Technology Review: AI is reinventing the way we invent. “Regina Barzilay’s office at MIT affords a clear view of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Amgen’s drug discovery group is a few blocks beyond that. Until recently, Barzilay, one of the world’s leading researchers in artificial intelligence, hadn’t given much thought to these nearby buildings full of chemists and biologists. But as AI and machine learning began to perform ever more impressive feats in image recognition and language comprehension, she began to wonder: could it also transform the task of finding new drugs?”