prescription drugs

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Democrat Ben Jealous is supporting proposals aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable in Maryland.

Jealous, who is running for governor, announced his support for the measures Monday at a news conference.

He is backing legislation to create a state board to focus on ensuring transparency and accountability in prescription drug pricing. He says companies would be required to provide advance notice before increasing prices and explain why.

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Up and down Delmarva police departments marked National Drug Take Back Day this past weekend.

State officials said that since 2010 the program has collected more than 76-thousand pounds of medication.

WBOC reports that the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services says that the program allows people to safely dispose of unused medication.

Governor John Carney said the program was part of a state effort to reduce drug addiction along with education and prevention efforts.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials in Delaware say opioid prescriptions have dropped "significantly" since regulations were enacted a year ago to combat the drug scourge.

Delaware's Department of State said in a press release Thursday that 14 percent fewer opioid prescriptions were written in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. There also was an 18 percent decline in the quantity of opioids dispensed.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A group of Maryland health advocates is outlining some new plans to improve prescription drug affordability.

Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative is holding a news conference on Wednesday in Baltimore to talk about a proposal that would create a state commission to determine what Marylanders can pay for expensive drugs in order to make them more affordable.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Maryland coalition is highlighting the need for more affordable prescription drugs.

The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative has scheduled a news conference Thursday in Baltimore. Members of the group are releasing a poll that they say shows support for three initiatives.

One would require companies to disclose the basis for high-cost drugs. Another would require companies to notify the public about steep price increases for prescription drugs. The other would give the state's attorney general authority to take action against price gouging.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's emergency rooms are seeing a dramatic spike this year in the number of patients seeking treatment for heroin overdoses.

Data provided by the Virginia Department of Health shows that the state's emergency departments reported nearly 500 visits in the first four months of 2016 with heroin overdose as the primary complaint or discharge diagnosis.

That's roughly two-and-a half times the number of emergency department visits for heroin overdoses reported over the same period last year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A hearing is scheduled for a measure to allow terminally ill Maryland residents to legally end their lives with drugs prescribed by a doctor.

The hearing is set for Friday in the House Health and Government Operations Committee.

The bill would allow mentally capable, terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to obtain prescription drugs they could ingest themselves, if their suffering becomes unbearable.

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan wants to up the penalties for drug trafficking and tighten the state’s program that monitors prescription drugs.

One measure would bring the state’s anti-gang statute more in line with the federal racketeering law.

The second measure would make the prescription drug monitoring program mandatory in identifying and investigating drug abuse.

In his statement the governor said he wanted to bring the various stakeholders together in the fight against the increasing phenomena of heroin and opioid addiction.

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A Death with Dignity measure is expected to be considered by the Delaware state legislature.

Representative Paul Baumbach is drawing up a measure that would be similar to Oregon’s law that allows doctors to write lethal prescriptions.

Baumbach says that that terminally ill in the state with six months to live or less as assessed by a doctor should have the right to take the lethal drug.

The Newark Democrat said he expects it will take a year before he is able to get his measure through the General Assembly.

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A “Right to Die” bill in the Maryland legislature has been shelved for more study.

The legislation that would allow certain terminally ill patients the right to end their lives with prescription drugs is expected to be examined this summer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the measure is sponsored by Delegate Shane Pendergrass who said she was not surprised by the resistance to the measure given the emotional testimony in Annapolis.

There are only five states that have right to die laws.

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MINQUADALE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County residents will soon have another option for getting rid of unwanted medications.

County police plan to unveil a prescription drug drop box at the department's headquarters next week.

Several times a year the Drug Enforcement Agency holds a National "Prescription Drug Take- Back Day," but the drop box will allow people to safely dispose of expired, unwanted and unused prescription drugs whenever they want.

Police say the drop box will help keep those drugs from being used in illegal activity.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Public health officials say residents turned in more than 6,000 pounds of prescription medications during Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

The Department of Health and Social Services said Monday that last month's take-back netted the second-highest total since Drug Take-Back Days began.

Residents gave up unwanted or expired medications, which officials said will help prevent abuse and theft and reduce water pollution by having the medications safely disposed of.

Three deaths have now been reported in the State of Maryland from the heat wave that has hit Delmarva.

The state health department they involved three men -- two senior citizens with one of them in Wicomico County.

These are the first heat-related death this year in the state with 34 fatalities last year.

The state health officials are warning people to stay out of the heat with the potential to cause stroke and exhaustion.

And, those still without power because of the recent storms should take advantage of the 58 cooling centers around the state.