Revamped OxyContin was supposed to reduce abuse but has it

WASHINGTON — Nearly a decade ago, the maker of OxyContin responded to a growing wave of opioid abuse by making the painkiller harder to snort and inject. But has that reformulation translated into fewer drug overdoses and deaths?It’s a question that experts like Dr. Raeford Brown of the University of Kentucky are eager to answer. For years, Brown led a government advisory panel that evaluates opioids for the Food and Drug Administration.There’s just one problem: Neither the company that the makes OxyContin nor the FDA have allowed the experts to see data on gathered to answer the question.Brown and others say the lack of data makes it nearly impossible to tell whether OxyContin and similar painkillers are actually helping fight the opioid crisis.The Stamford, Connecticut-based company says it’s still working on the studies.Matthew Perrone, The Associated Press read more

National reconciliation efforts in Central African Republic stalled Annan reports

The political situation in the CAR has continued to be marked by the repercussions of the attempted coup last year, and further deteriorated when President Ange-Félix Patassé relieved Gen. Bozizé of his duties in October 2001 as Chief of Staff of the country’s armed forces, the Secretary-General writes in his report to the Security Council on the activities of the UN Peace-Building Support Office (BONUCA).”The national reconciliation which was expected after the failed coup d’Etat of 28 May 2001 has still not taken place, partly because of the continuing judicial investigations,” Mr. Annan observes. “However, a meeting between President Patassé and the opposition leaders would help reduce tension and bring together the main political actors.” He also commends the efforts of the leaders of the subregion to promote a resumption of political dialogue and encourage national reconciliation in the CAR.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General expresses the hope that President Patassé’s solemn call for the return of refugees will contribute to an easing of tension, noting that the provisions, including security provisions, taken by the country’s authorities in the context of the reception committee for these refugees demonstrate their desire to rebuild unity among the nation’s peoples.In the area of human rights, the conclusion of the mandate of the joint commission of judicial inquiry and the trial of the individuals who took part in the coup will certainly help to consolidate the progress already made, Mr. Annan says.The Secretary-General also encourages the development partners to continue to assist the country during the transitional period, in which there are likely to be greater difficulties than before, pending the outcome of the donor meeting held in Paris on 20 December. read more