New report on opioid painkillers

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Victoria Richards

Victoria Richards, an associate professor of medical sciences who teaches toxicology and pharmacology at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, is available to discuss research in this week's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" that more than a third of reproductive-aged women enrolled in Medicaid, and more than a quarter of those with private insurance, filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication each year during 2008-2012. To see more information about the report, please see this Jan. 22 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bulletin.

"Pregnant patients take a variety of medications at different stages," Richards said. "Some medications must not or should not be taken. Given the recent changes to the pregnancy categories, I think this is a highly relevant statement from the CDC. With that said, many drugs are not studied in the pregnant woman and many drugs pose risks to the developing fetus. Opioids are commonly prescribed for pain and carry risks. Any woman of reproductive age should be counseled on medication use."

To schedule an interview with Richards, please contact John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, at 203-206-4449 (cell) or 203-582-5359 (office).

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