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FDA vs. MDMA; home health aide health; illegal opioid sales – Morning Medical Update


The top news stories in medicine today.

Doctor morning desk: © Alena Kryazheva – stock.adobe.com

© Alena Kryazheva – stock.adobe.com

Aid for the aides

As America becomes a grayer nation, many older adults want to stay in their own homes instead of going to a nursing home. As a result, home health aides “are a rapidly growing workforce trained and certified to provide personal and medical care, as well as emotional support, in the home,” said a new study, “Mental Health and Well-Being Among Home Health Aides.” “For our patients to do well, we need to support this workforce,” said a physician who has studied the work of home health aides.

Voting no on MDMA

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee this month voted against allowing the drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy, for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. It was the FDA’s first vote on considering a Schedule I psychedelic drug for therapeutic use and is considered a major setback for advocates of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders. Read a report on the vote and watch a video of an expert’s reaction in Psychiatric Times, a sister publication of Medical Economics.

Alleged opioid sales

In New York, a physician and a pharmacist could face up to 20 years in prison for illegally selling oxycodone, according to federal investigators. The two were arrested this month and a U.S. Department of Justice news release about the case included a copy of a hand-written menu with per-pill prices for backdoor sales. “They allegedly used their positions as health care professionals as a cover for what amounted to no more than common drug dealing operations,” said the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case.

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