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RI ARA

Affiliated with the Rhode Island AFL-CIO “Fighting for the future of our members.” “NOW, more than ever!!!” Publication 2018 Issue 31 Published in house by the RI ARA

August 5, 2018 E-Newsletter

All Rights Reserved RI ARA 2018©

Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Wealthy The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut mainly to the wealthy, a legally tenuous maneuver that would cut capital gains taxation and fulfill a long-held ambition of many investors and conservatives. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said in an interview on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina this month that his department was studying whether it could use its regulatory powers to allow Americans to account for inflation in determining capital gains tax liabilities. The Treasury Department could change the definition of “cost” for calculating capital gains, allowing taxpayers to adjust the initial value of an asset, such as

a home or a share of stock, for inflation when it sells. Currently, capital gains taxes are determined by subtracting the original price of an asset from the price at which it was sold and taxing the difference, usually at 20 percent. If a high earner spent $100,000 on stock in 1980, then sold it for $1 million today, she would owe taxes on $900,000. But if her original purchase price was adjusted for inflation, it would be about $300,000, reducing her taxable “gain” to $700,000. That would save the investor $40,000. “It is something that we’re going to consider; we’ve talked to Congress about it,” Mr. Mnuchin said. “There have been a bunch of letters to the president and I on Treasury doing this independent of Congress.” Mr. Mnuchin emphasized that

he had not concluded whether he had the authority to make such a move but that it was being studied internally, along with the economic costs and impact on growth. The move would face a nearcertain court challenge. It could also reinforce a liberal critique of Republican tax policy at a time when Republicans are struggling to sell middle-class voters on the benefits of the tax cuts that President Trump signed into law late last year. “At a time when the deficit is out of control, wages are flat and the wealthiest are doing better than ever, to give the top 1 percent another advantage is an outrage and shows the Republicans’ true colors,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “Furthermore, Mr. Mnuchin thinks he can do it on his own,

but everyone knows this must be done by legislation.” Capital gains taxes are overwhelmingly paid by high earners, and they were untouched in the $1.5 trillion tax law that Mr. Trump signed last year. Independent analyses suggest that more than 97 percent of the benefits of indexing capital gains for inflation would go to the top 10 percent of income earners in America. Nearly two-thirds of the benefits would go to the super wealthy — the top 0.1 percent of American income earners. ...Read More

Enough is enough. The rich get richer and the middle class and poor suffer. Isn’t it bout time congress started to help senior citizens with SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and the homeless, veterans and poor?

Drug Trade Group Quietly Spends ‘Dark Money’ To Sway Policy And Voters In 2010, before the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbying group was a very public supporter of the measure. It even helped fund a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaignbacking passage of the law. But last year, when Republicans mounted an aggressive effort to repeal and replace the law, the group made a point of staying outside the fray. “We’ve not taken a position,” said Stephen Ubl, head of the organization, the Pharmaceutical

year, giving it $6.1 million, federal regulatory filings show. And PhRMA had a substantial interest in the outcome of the repeal efforts. Among other Research and Manufacturers of for its elimination. actions, the GOP-backed health America, known as PhRMA, in “Urge him to repeal and bill would have eliminated a a March 2017 interview. replace the Affordable Care Act federal fee paid by That stance, however, was at now,” one ad running in early pharmaceutical companies, one odds with its financial support 2017 advised viewers to tell estimated at $28 billion over a of another group, the American their congressman. That and decade… Action Network, which was similar material (including But there was no way the heavily involved in that effort to robocalls) paid for by the public could have known at the put an end to the ACA, often American Action Network ran time about PhRMA’s support of referred to as Obamacare, numerous times last year in 75 AAN or the identity of other spending an estimated $10 congressional districts. deep-pocketed financiers behind million on an ad campaign PhRMA was one of AAN’s the group..Read More designed to build voter support biggest donors the previous

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Once again, ‘fake news’ decried by Trump turns out to be true “I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct. … When I make a statement, I like to be correct. I want the facts. … Before I make a statement, I need the facts.” — President Trump, Aug. 15, 2017 At the Fact Checker, we have vetted many statements by President Trump — and maintain a running list of every false and misleading claim he has made since he took the oath of office. The president’s factual errors on trade and tax policy are relatively easy to fact-check, as the data undercutting his claims can be easily obtained. But there have been a number of instances in which the president or his surrogates have flatly denied something — only to have that denial contradicted

weeks or months later by new documents or statements. Often, by then the media coverage has moved on to a new controversy. The release of the tape recording between Trump and his former fixer, Michael Cohen, is only the most recent example of this dynamic. Here’s a sampling of White House denials that eventually unraveled after new information was disclosed. Strikingly, these examples often involve situations that might place the president in legal jeopardy. There are, of course, many other instances — such as denials that Trump considered firing special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III or why Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey — but we kept this list

to cases in which either the administration admitted or official records showed the initial denial was false. Trump knew nothing about Daniels, McDougal or payoffs When the Wall Street Journal first reported just before the 2016 election that the company that owns the National Enquirer agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story of an affair a decade ago with Trump — but did not publish it — Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks was quick to dismiss it. “We have no knowledge of any of this,” she told the WSJ, adding that Karen McDougal’s claim of an affair with Mr. Trump was “totally untrue.” Hicks’s statements to the

media were often dictated directly by Trump. But that denial of knowing anything about the transaction was rendered false by the release July 24 by Cohen’s attorney of a recording of a conversation two months before the election between Trump and Cohen, secretly made by Cohen. “Um,” Cohen says, “I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David,” which is potentially a reference to David Pecker, president of American Media Inc., which owns the National Enquirer. Cohen mentions that he had “spoken to Allen Weisselberg [of the Trump Organization] about how to set the whole thing up” and Trump asks, “So, what do we got to pay for this? Onefifty?”...Read More

CMS Invites Additional Comments on Contested Medicaid Work Requirements After a federal judge invalidated the previously approved plan by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) to require very low income parents and caregivers to show that they are working or engaged in other activities in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage in Kentucky, CMS re-released the rule and another one governing Mississippi for additional comments. As we discussed earlier this month, the judge in the Kentucky case blocked the work

requirement because the court found that the agency was “arbitrary and capricious” in its decision-making, and showed no evidence that it considered the concerns that stakeholders raised in comments on the proposal. The decision found that the agency did not appear to independently evaluate the waiver’s impact on coverage for people with Medicaid, which it is required to do in approving any waiver. The judge returned

the issue to CMS, requiring them to adequately consider these factors. This return, called a remand, is not normally directly appealable, so to challenge the court’s ruling, CMS will have to release its own new decision and then defend that decision in a future case. In addition to CMS’s rerelease of the Kentucky waiver for additional comments, the agency also re-released for public comment a Mississippi

proposal that has been adjusted following the court decision in the Kentucky case. The Mississippi proposal also contemplates work requirements, but extends health coverage for two years for people who become overincome and ineligible for Medicaid by meeting the work requirement. Read more about the Kentucky lawsuit. Read a summary of responses or submit a comment on the waiver.

To Tame Prescription Prices, HHS Dips A Toe Into Drug Importation Stream It came as something of a surprise when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that the administration was exploring the importation of prescription drugs to fight high domestic prices. Azar and Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who also endorsed the new proposal, had previously opposed the idea.

But drug prices in the U.S. have continued to rise and more than 80 percent of Americans say the government should take action. President Donald Trump has said drugmakers are “getting away with murder” and has angrily tweeted at companies about individual

price hikes. Although the candidate Trump supported the idea of allowing patients to import medicines, since he was elected he has not mentioned that option — which is strongly opposed by drug companies. Now, determined to explore more avenues to curb price

hikes, the administration is signaling that it is willing to consider what the industry regards as something of a nuclear option to address a recalcitrant problem. Carefully tailored to focus solely on specific situations where a highpriced drug is made by one company, it is finding support where broader proposals have failed….Read More

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Center for Medicare Advocacy Statement on the Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court The Center for Medicare Advocacy adds our voice to those concerned about the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. As a public interest law organization committed to fair access to quality health care, equal rights for all as we age, and due process, the Center has serious reservations about this nomination. Judge Kavanaugh’s lengthy record on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals does not bode well for the millions of families who rely on critical health care programs and our Constitutional form of government. For example, in Seven-Sky v. Holder, 661 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2011), Judge Kavanaugh dissented in a 2-1 decision that affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, maintaining that the challenge

against the Act could not be heard before the individual mandate’s tax penalties took effect. Just as concerning, Judge Kavanaugh stated in his decision, “the President may decline to enforce a statute that regulates private individuals when the President deems the statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold the statute constitutional.” 661 F.3d at 50 n.43. This statement raises serious concerns about Judge Kavanaugh’s commitment to ensuring the judiciary continues to serve as an equal branch of government to the executive branch, and as a check and balance to the President. Further, as the NAACP noted in a statement opposing the nomination, “He has been a

strong and consistent voice for the wealthy and the powerful. Over and over again, he has ruled against civil rights, workers’ rights, consumer rights, and women’s rights.” The Supreme Court will decide myriad important cases in the years ahead, impacting the well-being of the country’s most vulnerable citizens and residents. It is critical that judicial nominees – especially those to our highest court – are committed to protecting and enhancing access to quality health care, not to advancing powerful and corporate interests. “We are living in a time where access to justice, essential health care benefits and civil rights are under attack,” says Judith Stein, executive director of the Center

for Medicare Advocacy. “There has been a sustained effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act, privatize Medicare, and decimate Medicaid. Lowincome people have found it increasingly difficult to have their cases heard in federal courts. The Supreme Court must stand apart, as a trusted, fair arbiter of individual and societal rights. Regrettably, Judge Kavanaugh’s record does not warrant that trust and his presence on the Court will significantly impact social justice for generations to come.” As advocates for older adults and disabled people, we oppose any threats – legislative, executive or judicial – to Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and due process of law. Thus, the Center for Medicare Advocacy must also oppose this nomination.

Social Security FAQs Why is Social Security so important? Is Social Security just for seniors? Why are Social Security’s protections irreplaceable? How important is Social Security for retirement? How is Social Security funded? Isn’t Social Security the cause of our large federal deficit? Where does Social Security’s surplus go? Isn’t the trust fund just a bunch of IOUs? Is Social Security going bankrupt?

What’s the best way to solve Social Security’s longrange funding gap? Why shouldn’t the retirement age be raised? Should rich people continue to collect Social Security, or should it be “means-tested”? Some politicians say that Social Security’s COLA is too generous. Should it be reduced? What are the values that underlie Social Security?

Trump at rally makes false claim on photo IDs for groceries President Donald Trump on Tuesday wrongly claimed that shoppers need to show photo identification to buy groceries and accused Democrats of obstructing his agenda and his Supreme Court nominee during a raucous rally aimed at bolstering two Florida Republicans ahead of the state's primary.

Trump, addressing thousands of supporters in one of the nation's top electoral battlegrounds, also mounted a rigorous defense of his trade agenda, accusing China and others of having "targeted our farmers." "Not good, not nice," he told the crowd as tensions with China continue to escalate, adding: "You know what our

farmers are saying? 'It's OK, we can take it." The Trump administration last week announced plans for $12 billion in temporary aid to help farmers deal with retaliatory tariffs from U.S. trading partners in response to Trump's policies. "If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID,"

he said at the event at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. "You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture." A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about when the billionaire president last bought groceries or anything else himself.

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Seniors Support Medicare Coverage Expansion On Tuesday, The Senior Citizens League released new data that shows nearly 80 percent of older Americans believe Medicare should cover dental, vision, and hearing services. Under current law, the Medicare program is prohibited from covering these critical services, and many older Americans living on fixed incomes cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for costly care and assistive technologies like eyeglasses or hearing aids. When asked how Congress should address the lack of coverage, 79 percent of poll respondents said Medicare

coverage should be expanded, while 14 percent said private Medicare Advantage plans that sometimes cover more of these services should be better promoted. Only 7 percent of respondents said Medicare’s coverage of dental, vision, and hearing services should remain unchanged. A growing volume of research is linking problems with eyes, ears, and teeth to health problems elsewhere in the body. Links have been found to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, respiratory illness, cancer, sleep apnea, dementia, and many

other serious health conditions. Better care has been found to improve overall health in patients. Mary Johnson – a policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League – said this week, “Adding cover age may help both patients and Medicare save money on other costs.” The poll results released this week show clearly that older voters want Congress to improve coverage of these essential services. The Senior Citizens League has endorsed legislation called the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act (H.R. 508), a bipartisan bill

introduced by Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and 130 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. If adopted, it would expand Medicare coverage to include vision, dental, and hearing services. In the weeks ahead, The Senior Citizens League will continue to advocate for the passage of H.R. 508, and we hope to see it signed into law by the end of the 115th Congress. For more information about the Seniors Have Eyes, Ears, and Teeth Act, visit the Bill Tracking section of our website.

House Adjourns for Five-Week Summer Recess On Friday, lawmakers in the Medicare program and much higher prices for their  Social Security House returned to their home cut Social Security prescriptions. What are you beneficiaries districts for a five-week recess. benefits by adopting the doing to correct this unfair received a 2% costThey are expected to return to “chained” CPI, policy? of-living adjustment Washington on Tuesday, eliminating the COLA  Medicare is currently (COLA) this year, September 4th, following the for some seniors, and raising but most have seen their prohibited from covering Labor Day holiday. In the the eligibility age. Did you benefit increases completely most hearing, vision, and meantime, many Members of support this budget blueprint, offset by higher Medicare dental services, even though Congress will be attending local and if so, why? Part B premiums. Do you millions of seniors are events and hosting town hall support legislation that  The federal government afflicted with age-related meetings in their home states would give older Americans negotiates prescription drug hearing loss, low vision, and and districts. The Senior a more fair and adequate prices for Medicaid and for poor oral health. When left Citizens League encourages its Social Security COLA? veterans, but it is barred from untreated, these conditions supporters to attend these events  In April, lawmakers on the negotiating lower prices for often result in serious injuries and to ask important questions Medicare beneficiaries. As a and complications. What do Republican Study Committee of their elected officials, like the result, senior citizens you feel should be done proposed a budget blueprint following four... enrolled in Part D often pay about this? that would have reformed the

1,400 Nursing Homes Get Lower Medicare Ratings Because Of Staffing Concerns Medicare has lowered its star ratings for staffing levels in 1 in 11 of the nation’s nursing homes — almost 1,400 of them — because they either had inadequate numbers of registered nurses or failed to provide payroll data that proved they had the required nursing coverage, federal records released last week show. Medicare only recently began collecting and publishing payroll data on the staffing of nursing homes as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, rather than relying as it had

before on the nursing homes’ own unverified reports. The payroll records revealed lower overall staffing levels than homes had disclosed, particularly among registered nurses. Those are the highesttrained caregivers required to be in a nursing home, and they supervise other nurses and aides. Medicare mandates that every facility have a registered nurse working at least eight hours every day. “It’s a real positive that they actually are taking the payrollbased system seriously, that

they’re using it to punish those nursing homes that either aren’t reporting staffing or those that are below the federal limit,” said David Grabowski, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School. “Could they do more? Sure, but I think it’s a really good start.” Nursing home industry officials have acknowledged that some facilities are struggling to meet the new payroll reporting requirements. Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit providers of aging services

including nearly 2,000 nursing homes, said the lowered star ratings were disappointing and attributed them largely to a workforce shortage. “Our members are battling on multiple fronts to recruit and retain all types of qualified staff, and nurses in particular,” she said in a statement….Read More

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Parkinson's gene affects more people than previously thought New research finds that a gene previously thought to affect only a small percentage of Parkinson's disease cases actually affects many more. The findings mean that treatments that are being developed for a small number of people may, in fact, benefit many more. Almost 1 million people in the United States and nearly 10 million people across the world live with Parkinson's disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 15 percent of those living with Parkinson's have a hereditary form of the disease. Such hereditary forms of the

condition are often down to mutations in several genes. The LRRK2gene is one of them. Responsible for creating a protein called dardarin — which has important roles in maintaining the structural health of cells — LRRK2 has been found to play a key role in lateonset Parkinson's disease, which is the most widespread form of the condition. More specifically, 100 mutations of this gene have been found in familial cases of Parkinson's. Overall, 3–4 percent of Parkinson's cases have been

linked with mutations in this gene. But now, researchers have made a discovery that suggests that LRRK2 is implicated in far more cases than previously thought. It isn't just the mutated version of the gene that may cause Parkinson's, and it isn't just people with a family history of the disease who are affected by this gene, suggests the new study. Dr. J. Timothy Greenamyre, chief of the Movement Disorders Division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, is the senior

author of the study, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. LRRK2 activity leads to toxic protein buildup Dr. Greenamyre and colleagues used an innovative technique called "proximity ligation assay" to detect the activity of LRRK2. They designed a molecular "beacon" that they attached to the LRRK2 protein. If the protein was active, it would glow, enabling the researchers to see in which brain cells LRRK2 was active….Read More

Parkinson's Disease Treatment Enters Human Trials A Japanese research team announced it will start human clinical trials for a new Parkinson’s disease treatment. On Monday, a team from Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application announced it will begin testing the new treatment on humans after successful rounds of animal trials. The injected treatment uses stem cells to help those with Parkinson’s diseases and received approval from the government.

Parkinson’s disease affects about 10 million around the world, including one million in the United States, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Parkinson’s disease reduces neurons in the brain that produce dopamine. This loss of cells causes tremors in the feet and hands. It also causes stiffness in someone’s body. Treatments exist for those symptoms, but scientists haven’t been able to find a cure. This treatment could

be a breakthrough option for those with Parkinson’s disease. The team plans to inject induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells into the patient’s brains. The five million injected cells have the potential to develop into any cell in the body— including the neurons that produce dopamine. The iPS cell technology was created at Kyoto University in 2006 and can be generated from adult cells, which means the treatment

doesn’t require the use of embryonic stem cells. The creator of the technology, Shinya Yamanaka, was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2012 for the finding. Monkeys were used in the last round of trials. Over two years of observation, the scientists found that the movement of monkeys with Parkinson’s disease improved and no tumors that could turn cancerous developed in the brain. ..Read More

Only 2 weeks of inactivity can hasten diabetes onset in seniors A new study shows that 2 weeks of physical inactivity can trigger full-blown diabetes in seniors with prediabetes. As we get older, physical exercise becomes more and more important. The internet abounds with the latest research extolling the multiple benefits of physical exercise for seniors. For instance, aerobic activity and muscle training have been shown to improve the psychological well-being of elderly people, and even a few

minutes of light exercise can increase lifespan and improve brain function. The benefits of physical activity have long been praised, but what are the effects of physical inactivity? Some studies have shown that having a sedentary lifestyle harms brain health and raises the risk of diabetes and dementia in seniors, while others have suggested that being physically

inactive simply makes you age faster. New research delves into the metabolic effects of physical inactivity for seniors. A team of scientists led by Chris Mcglory — a Diabetes Canada Research Fellow in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada — set out to investigate the effects of 2 weeks of inactivity on elderly adults at risk of diabetes. The findings were published

in The Journals of Gerontology. Harmful effects of inactivity hard to reverse Mcglory and colleagues examined a group of seniors aged between 60 and 85 who had already been diagnosed with prediabetes. The researchers asked the study participants to restrict their daily number of steps to fewer than 1,000 for a period of 2 weeks. No more than 1,000 steps per day is the equivalent of being housebound...Read More

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The cancer playbook may lead to new Alzheimer's drugs It's been notoriously difficult to develop medicines for Alzheimer's disease, the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, it seems, pharmaceutical companies release data from studies of promising drug candidates that merit only a collective sigh of disappointment. In search of fresh ideas, researchers have begun to borrow a phrase or two from the more familiar language of cancer treatment. Some scientists are studying precision medicine, or personalized medicine, which is routinely used to treat breast and colon cancers. Other researchers are focusing on immunotherapy, an effective form of medicine for skin, lung, kidney, bladder and other cancers. This translation of the cancerfighting vocabulary to Alzheimer's disease, though, is not always simple. Adapting precision medicine

"In precision medicine, in order to apply the most effective treatment possible, doctors select treatments based on the patient's genetic profile," explained Dr. Christiane Reitz, assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology at the Columbia University Department of Neurology. The first step when applying precision medicine to Alzheimer's disease is to learn "as many of the genetic variants as possible" that cause this common form of dementia, said Reitz, whose research focuses on identifying both genetic and non-genetic factors that contribute to changes in the brain. "There are diseases that are caused by only one gene or very few genes," she said. Huntington's disease, a classic example, is caused by a single gene mutation: If you have the

mutation, you will develop the disease. Late-onset Alzheimer's, though, is nothing like Huntington's or even most diseases. "There are likely more than a hundred genes involved in Alzheimer's," Reitz said. "We know some of them but not all. We need to identify the remaining ones." In a recently published study, Reitz noted that scientists have mapped "27 susceptibility loci" for Alzheimer's disease: regions on the chromosome that are most likely to mutate and thereby contribute to the risk of that disease… .Since there may also be a variety of causes of Alzheimer's, scientists hope that they will be able to identify the specific cause of a patient's disease by sequencing his or her genetic profile, Reitz explained. "Then,

the most effective treatment for that patient can be determined and applied." Such is the case with one experimental drug presented last week at the 2018 Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Chicago.Restoring 'cellular balance' Dr. Harald Hampel, a professor at Sorbonne University in Paris, explained that the experimental drug, Anavex 2-73, a precision medicine candidate from specialty pharmaceutical company Anavex Life Sciences Corp., activates the Sigma-1 receptor… "If you wait until people have got significant cognitive problems, then the damage is already done," Williamson said. "I personally think it's going to get better once we have an effective treatment.".Read More

Most Seniors Uninformed on Opioid Use A new survey suggests health care professionals are giving short shrift to their older patients when it comes to explaining the risks of opioid painkillers. Researchers found that most older Americans who are prescribed opioids aren't advised about the dangers of the drugs, how to use fewer of them, when to use non-opioid alternatives, or what to do with leftover opioids. The poll was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicine, the university's academic medical center. "We know that unused opioid medications that linger in homes are one of the primary pathways to diversion, misuse, abuse and dependence. As prescribers, we must find opportunities to

discuss safe opioid use, storage and disposal with our patients," said Dr. Jennifer Waljee, codirector of the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network. She is also an associate professor of surgery at Michigan Medicine. "It is critically important to provide a detailed plan for patients who get opioids for pain management and resources for disposal," she said in a university news release. The poll of more than 2,000 adults, aged 50 to 80, found that nearly one-third had received an opioid such as OxyContin or Vicodin in the past two years, mainly for arthritis pain, back pain, surgery and/or an injury. Most of those patients said their doctor, pharmacist or other

health care provider talked with them about how often to take the medication, but far fewer said they received other types of important advice. Less than half said their provider counseled them about the risk of addiction or overdose, and slightly more than a quarter said their pharmacist provided counseling. A slightly higher number said their doctor or pharmacist outlined ways to reduce the amount of opioids they were taking. Only 37 percent of patients said their doctor discussed what to do with leftover opioid pills, while 25 percent said their pharmacist had done so. Half of the respondents who'd been prescribed an opioid said they didn't use all their pills, and 86

percent said they kept leftover opioids for later potential use. According to Alison Bryant, senior vice president of research for AARP, "The fact that so many older adults report having leftover opioid pills is a big problem, given the risk of abuse and addiction with these medications." Bryant explained that "having unused opioids in the house, often stored in unlocked medicine cabinets, is a big risk to other family members as well. These findings highlight the importance of improving older adults' awareness and access to services that will help them safely dispose of unused opioid medications." More information The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about prescription opioids.

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August 5, 2018 RI ARA E-Newsletter  
August 5, 2018 RI ARA E-Newsletter  
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