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The Daily Buzz: June 19, 2014


White House urged to expand access to buprenorphine; a "superhero" for drunk drivers is arrested; and country singer Tim McGraw says a "wake up call" from wife Faith Hill got him sober.

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White House Urged to Expand Access to Buprenorphine
This week Senator Carl Levin asked the White House and other top drug agencies to expand access to buprenorphine (Suboxone is one common formulation), a medication which helps control opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Opioid addiction is Big News, but access to bupe remains severely limited by federal restrictions, inconsistent insurance coverage and many doctors’ refusal to prescribe.

Cuba Convicts 12 Men of Deaths Caused by Black-Market Booze
More than a dozen people have been convicted in a case of poisonous black-market alcohol that killed 11 and sickened nearly 100 people in Cuba.

FDA Proposes Twitter Guidelines For Prescription Drugs
According to new guidelines proposed by the FDA, all pharma companies would be required to tweet the risk of their products, including those known to be fatal or life-threatening, as well as all side effects and warnings printed on the labeling. Good luck cramming the risks of prescription opioids into 140 characters.

Cleveland Man Arrested for Warning Potential Drunk Drivers of Checkpoints
Cops have arrested “superhero” Douglas Odolecki, from suburban Cleveland, for standing by the road on Friday night with a sign reading: “Check point ahead! Turn now!” Odolecki has said it’s his life’s mission to warn drivers about drunken-driving checkpoints, and he’ll go “anywhere I’m called, anywhere I’m needed, anywhere I see injustice happening.”

Tim McGraw Says He Got Sober With the Help of Faith (Hill, His Wife)
The country singer, 47, says he got sober a few years ago after his wife, singer Faith Hill, gave him a “wake-up call” (perhaps read, “ultimatum.”) Before that, he says: “I drank too much. I partied too much. And did other things too much. Chemically. No needles or that kind of stuff, but…use your imagination.” Bath salts?