Prescription drug abuse is being called "epidemic," even in rural Ohio and West Virginia. How do we get the benefits of modern pharmaceuticals without giving in to the dangers? Also, the SEC sues Goldman Sachs for securities fraud, and President Obama has ordered that same-sex partners get hospital visitation rights.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Goldman Sachs for securities fraud, claiming that Wall Street's premier bank sold a mortgage investment that was secretly devised to fail. The Commission claims Goldman and some hedge funds made money while Goldman's own clients lost billions of dollars. Greg Gordon is an investigative reporter with McClatchy Newspapers' Washington Bureau.
Prescription drug abuse is nothing new, but now it's being called epidemic, "from the Hollywood hills to the hollows of West Virginia." The Drug Enforcement Agency says Vicodin and Valium cause more overdose deaths in America than cocaine and heroin combined. Victims include high-profile celebrities, poverty-stricken kids and middle-aged adults, with some doctors peddling legal drugs for no medical reason. But the same drugs alleviate real suffering. How can they be provided to people who need them and kept away from people who don't?
Scott Glover, Los Angeles Times (@ScottGloverLAT)
Jeffrey Coben, Professor of Emergency Medicine, West Virginia University
Paul Christo, Director of Pain Training, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Carl 'Rolly' Sullivan, Director of Addictions Programs, West Virginia University Hospital
Sharon Brigner, Deputy Vice President of State Government Affairs, PHARMA
From Air Force One last night, President Obama put in a call to Janice Langbehn, who was kept out of a Florida hospital while her lesbian partner of 18 years was dying. Their four adopted children weren't allowed in either. The President told Langbehn he'd ordered new rules at hospitals that use Medicare and Medicaid. Rights activists called the order welcome, but say it was too long in coming. The Family Research Council calls it “pandering to a radical special interest group” that undermines the institution of marriage. Sheryl Gay Stolberg is White House correspondent for the New York Times.