opioids

An Alabama doctor has pleaded guilty to drug distribution charges linked to her prescribing opioid drugs from a clinic she operated in a community in northwest Madison County.

While a federal jury in Huntsville was deliberating on whether to convict her of 15 criminal charges Friday, Dr. Celia Lloyd-Turney pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution of controlled substances. Federal prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining 14 charges in exchange for Lloyd-Turney’s plea.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A new program is being developed to address the opioid problem in parts of west Alabama.

A statement from the University of Alabama says a team of researchers and others has gotten a $200,000 federal planning grant for a tele-health network to help fight opioid addiction and deaths.

The group will work in Franklin, Marion, Walker and Winston counties. The program will assess what's going on in the area and recommend improvements.

BCBS of AL Won't Cover OxyContin in 2019

Nov 8, 2018

Alabama's largest health insurer will stop covering OxyContin prescriptions as part of an effort to deter opioid abuse.

AL.com reports Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama announced earlier this week that it will stop covering the standard formulation of OxyContin and its generic variation, oxycodone ER, on January 1, 2019. The changes are part of the insurer's opioid management strategy for commercial members.

An Alabama doctor has been sentenced to more than twelve years in prison for his role in a Montgomery pill mill.

U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin Sr. told Al.com that 56-year-old Gilberto Sanchez was found guilty last week of prescribing unnecessary controlled substances for his patients. He was also found guilty of committing health care fraud and laundering money.

A major pharmaceutical company previously criticized for raising prices on overdose prevention medication is now donating a large amount of the medication to volunteer rescue squads in Alabama.

Drug manufacturer Kaleo Incorporated announced a donation of 872 boxes of Evzio to be carried in state volunteer rescue vehicles. The device auto-injects the opoid overdose prevention drug naloxone and plays a voice recording that talks an untrained non-medical professional through administering the drug.

A former federal prosecutor is raising concerns that Alabama’s proposed crackdown on the synthetic opioid fentanyl could end up putting low-level users behind bars for years.

Former U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown told the Alabama House Health Committee yesterday that under the proposed law, a person with a trace amount of fentanyl mixed with other drugs could potentially be prosecuted as a major drug trafficker.

fentanyl dose
Kensington Police Service

The Alabama Senate has voted in favor of tougher penalties for distributing fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

Senators voted unanimously in favor of the bill yesterday. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for debate.

Sen. Cam Ward, the bill's sponsor, said an influx of fentanyl, which is significantly more powerful than heroin, is causing a spike in overdose deaths. Ward says state penalties for fentanyl possession are disproportionately low, and the new bill would make the penalties similar to those for heroin.

Officials Announce Plan for Opioid Crisis

Jan 29, 2018

Several of Alabama’s government heads have announced their plan for fighting the opioid epidemic currently gripping the state.

The Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council issued its report and action plan last week to find solutions to the state’s opioid crisis.

Hospitals Sue Drug Companies Over Opioids

Dec 4, 2017

Hospitals in Alabama as well as Mississippi are suing more than a dozen drug manufacturers, claiming they deceptively marketed and sold dangerous opioids.

Jackson, Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger reports the class-action lawsuit was filed late last week in federal court in Mississippi. The plaintiffs are Infirmary Health Hospitals, based in Mobile, Monroe County Healthcare Authority, based in Monroeville, and Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center based in McComb, Mississippi.

Alabama Joins Opioid Learning Lab

Sep 14, 2016

The state of Alabama has been selected to take part in a national project to help combat the opioid epidemic across the country.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced earlier this week that the state will participate in a National Governors Association learning lab to address the opioid issue. The project aims to reduce the number of overdoses and deaths related to heroin and prescription opiates like fentanyl. Current data shows 78 people nationwide die of an opiate overdose every day.