COVID-19 and access to controlled substance prescriptions

Author: Chan Shen, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: health care, substance use, treatment Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic brought many unexpected changes to our lives. Access to health care changed drastically due to the pandemic. For example, a large number of elective procedures were postponed or cancelled, and patients avoided visits to physician offices, outpatient facilities and hospitals. Access to controlled substance prescriptions also changed significantly. In this post, I describe past concerns around the prescribing and use of controlled substances, including opioids and benzodiazepines, the impact of COVID-19 on access to health care and prescription drugs, and…

COVID-19: Implications and Opportunities for Substance Use Disorder

Author: Glenn Sterner, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: Substance use disorder, treatment, prevention, Pennsylvania As we learn about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our society it is clear that they are often felt most deeply in disadvantaged and marginalized communities. This public health crisis has exposed the systemic weaknesses that serve these populations, illuminating clear directions for addressing them now, and highlighting the need to rethink our future strategies, policies, and services. Especially vulnerable during this crisis are those affected by substance use disorder (SUD). In the face of the demands on our health care system and policies that protect against virus spread, it is…

Delaying treatment initiation for cancer patients: Implications for the COVID-19 pandemic

Author: Nicholas G. Zaorsky, M.D. MS , Ming Wang, M.S. Ph.D. , Vonn Walter, Ph.D. , Niraj J. Gusani, M.D. FACS , Daniel E. Spratt, M.D. , Alok Khorana, M.D. , Christopher S. Hollenbeak, Ph.D.
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Article Topics: cancer care, treatment, Pennsylvania The emergence of COVID-19 has required a re-prioritization of healthcare resources in many dimensions. Cancer is a leading cause of death in the developed world, and cancer patients have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early studies from Wuhan suggest that patients with cancer are at greater risk of acquiring coronavirus and also death from subsequent COVID-19 infections12. Clinicians have therefore tried to minimize risk of infection among newly diagnosed cancer patients by delaying time until treatment for certain patients, or by modifying treatment standards for…