Addiction, Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Opiods / 03.02.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joshua D. Madera, MD Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton PA What is the background for this study? Response: The US population continues to be drastically impacted by the opioid epidemic, with opioid-related deaths significantly increased compared to European countries. While prescription opioid distribution has gradually declined since its peak in 2011 [1], the rate of opioid prescriptions remains increased compared to 2000. Furthermore, there is considerable interstate variability in opioid distribution across the US. Identifying patterns in this variability may guide public health efforts to reduce opioid-related harms. Therefore, the primary objective of this study [2] from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was to explore variations in production quotas and state-level distribution of ten prescription opioids between 2010 and 2019. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pharmaceutical Companies / 14.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lauren Davis Lauren C. Davis, MBS Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 19409   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Financial conflicts of interest (COIs) resulting from ties between academia and industry have been under scrutiny for their potential to hinder the integrity of medical research. COIs can lead to implicit bias, compromise the research process, and erode public trust (1-6). The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), standardizes symptom criteria and codifies psychiatric disorders. This manual contributes to the approval of new drugs, extensions of patent exclusivity, and can influence payers and mental health professionals seeking third-party reimbursements. Given the implications of the DSM on public health, it is paramount that it is free of industry influence. Previous research has shown a high prevalence of industry ties among panel and task force members of the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5, despite the implementation of a disclosure policy for the DSM-5 (7,8). This study (9) determined the extent and type of COIs received by panel and task-force members of the DSM-5-TR (2022) (10). As the DSM-5-TR did not disclose COI, we used the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Open Payments (OP) database (11) to quantify them. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences / 03.01.2024

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Christian Carbe, PhD Department of Medical Educatio Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA 18509   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Transgender patients often experience pronounced healthcare disparities compared to their cisgender counterparts. Disparities in the treatment of transgender patients resulting from deficiencies in cultural competency perpetuate poor health outcomes, such as suicide, substance misuse, depression, harassment, and victimization. Individuals within the transgender community often face systemic barriers within the medical field, including a lack of comprehensive access to health insurance, discrimination from providers, and incompetent provider training in transgender-specific health needs. This report evaluated the changes in knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of the psychosocial and medical needs of the transgender community among first-year undergraduate medical students that attended the Northeastern Pennsylvania Trans Health Conference. Our broader goal is to develop and refine longitudinal interventions to improve skills and sensitivity of future physicians to provide compassionate and competent gender diverse and transgender healthcare. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 30.08.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luke Cavanah, BS Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: It is well-known that schedule II stimulants, which are those that are highly addictive and include amphetamine, methylphenidate, and lisdexamfetamine, have had increasing use and misuse in the US. Despite understanding the presence of this phenomenon, the reason for it is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to see if rising rates of schedule II stimulants are related to the legalization of medical marijuana. We were interested in this because schedule II stimulants are primarily used as the treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic cannabis use has been demonstrated to cause neurocognitive deficits resembling that of ADHD, and the conditions have been shown to affect similar brain regions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis / 07.07.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Edward Liu, BA Second year medical student Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The use pattern of two FDA approved cannabinoids, dronabinol (Marinol) and cannabidiol (Epidiolex) has not been previously studied. Dronabinol has been approved in the United States since 1985 for chemotherapy induced nausea as well as vomiting and HIV-induced anorexia,1,2 whereas cannabidiol has been approved since 2018 to treat childhood epileptic disorders, Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome.3 This longitudinal study examined Medicaid claims between 2016-2020 for these two prescription cannabinoids to better comprehend the state-level pharmacoepidemiologic trends and distribution of these drugs in US Medicaid amidst the increasing use of non-pharmaceutical formulations of cannabis. (more…)
Author Interviews / 25.04.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mariah W Panoussi, BS, MBS Second-year medical student at Saba University School of Medicine, Saba, Dutch Caribbean Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Clinical guidelines currently state that the atypical antipsychotic clozapine effectively treats patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) 1. TRS occurs in up to one-third of patients with schizophrenia.2,3 However, there is evidence that demonstrates a lack of clozapine utilization by providers.2 This underutilization has been attributed to clozapine’s numerous adverse effects, in particular agranulocytosis.4 Other barriers include close monitoring for agranulocytosis, changes in administration and registry programs, as well as concerns regarding physician’s attitude toward and knowledge about clozapine.4,5 These barriers have thus caused a sizable variation in clozapine usage throughout the US. Using Medicaid data from 2015-2019, we conducted a secondary data analysis to examine the varied usage of clozapine in the US Medicaid programs.6 (more…)
Author Interviews / 13.04.2023

Medicalresearch.com Interview with: Edward Liu, BA Second year medical student Department of Medical Education Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA Medicalresearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The United States’ opioid epidemic continues to rise because of increasing opioid use and availability, contributing to prescription opioid misuse, mortality, and rising cost.1 The worsening health and economic impact of opioid use disorder in the US warrants further attention on the adverse effects and distribution pattern of commonly prescribed opioids like oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl (Duragesic), and morphine (MS-Contin). Using the Automated Reports and Consolidated Ordering System (ARCOS) database,2 a comprehensive data collection system of pharmacies and hospitals distribution of Schedule II and III controlled substances in the US with the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS)3 has never been done before. This approach may provide a more complete picture of the risks of prescription opioids which can include drowsiness, nausea, and potentially fatal respiratory depression.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Depression / 05.03.2023

Editor's note: This piece discusses suicide. If you have experienced suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide and want to seek help, you can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting "START" to 741-741 or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexia Aguilar Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, PA     MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Traditional antidepressants like Zoloft and Lexapro have three major drawbacks.
  • First, they have a therapeutic lag and take at least a couple weeks to begin to improve mood.
  • Second, they do not work very well for many patients with only about one-third experiencing a remission.1
  • Third, they carry a Food and Drug Administration black box warning for increasing the risk of suicide in young-adults. There is tremendous enthusiasm for the anesthetic ketamine and esketamine because they overcome all three of these limitations. The brand name of esketamine is Spravato. Spravato received conditional approval from the FDA in March of 2019 as a nasal spray for treatment resistant depression or acute suicidality.  The goal of this study was to examine prescriptions for ketamine and esketamine in 2019 and 2020.

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Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Vaccine Studies / 10.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kenya Colvin, MBS Department of Medical Education Scranton, PA MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Vaccine hesitancy is a major driver of COVID-19 vaccination disparities between minority and non-Hispanic White communities. Our goal was to understand what factors influenced vaccine hesitancy among individuals in Eastern Pennsylvania to identify more effective ways to promote vaccine uptake within minority communities. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Opiods / 07.02.2023

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brian Piper, PhD MS Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Center for Pharmacy Innovation & Outcomes Geisinger School of Graduate Education MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Methadone is an evidence-based treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) and pain. However, this Schedule II opioid can also cause respiratory depression, which can result in lethality. The need for supervised administration is a long-standing source of frustration in the U.S. for many opioid use disorder (OUD) methadone patients. However, there was an accommodation in early 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. This involved extending the take-home supply to up to 28-days for stable patients and 14 days for less stable patients. Prior research found that the implementation of supervised administration in England greatly reduced methadone overdoses [1]. The primary objective of this study [2] from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine was to determine if the relaxation of the take-home rules resulted in more methadone overdoses. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, JAMA, Pharmaceutical Companies / 06.07.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: SooYoung VanDeMark, MBS Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Scranton, Pennsylvania MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?   Response: Health care providers utilize subscription-based, point-of-care databases such as DynaMed and UpToDate to provide clinical care guidance and remain current on the latest evidence-based findings. Both of these websites maintain this content through a cadre of physician contributors who write and edit articles for these sites. These physician contributors are required to self-report any conflicts of interest (COI) as outlined by the respective policies on each website. However, prior COI research into similarly self-regulated areas, such as medical and pharmacology textbooks, and clinical practice guidelines, has found both appreciable potential COI and inconsistencies between self-reported and industry mandated disclosures (1-3). This study (4) explored the accuracy of physician contributors to DynaMed and UpToDate by comparing their self-reported disclosure status with the financial remunerations they received from the healthcare industry (e.g., pharmaceutical companies) as reported to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Open Payments database. Physician contributors who reported “nothing to disclose” on their respective article topic but had an entry on Open Payments for having received money from industry, were classified as discordant and, thus, as having the potential for a COI. Additionally, total remuneration, gender, and payment category were investigated more in depth for each database. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Opiods, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 10.09.2021

John A. Furst BS Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Methadone is an evidence-based pharmacotherapy for opioid detoxification, maintenance therapy, and pain management. However, accessibility of this treatment remains variable across much of the country. Methadone for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) is exclusively provided by federally regulated opioid treatment programs (OTPs) and has provoked significant community-based and legal controversy regarding its role in the management of this condition. This has created disparities related to the distribution and access of methadone throughout the United States (U.S.). The goal of this study1 was to highlight the most recent pharmacoepidemiologic trends associated with methadone in the face of unique restrictions at the local, state, and federal levels. (more…)