From its synthesis by Dr. Paul Janssen in 1960 to its illegal synthesis by George Marquardt, a high school dropout and self-taught chemist, fentanyl plays a significant role in today’s drug abuse epidemic. Clinical pharmacist Phil Walls explains why fentanyl has gained momentum as an alternative to heroin, and what we can do to mitigate the risks posed to first responders.

During the early days of the COVID-19 crisis, MedRisk expanded its nearly 3-year-old telerehab service. Previous expansions to help workers’ comp patients impacted by natural disasters did not produce a significant uptick in telerehab cases.  Patients and adjusters saw hurricanes and wildfires as local and temporary and felt treatment could be delayed for a week or so.

With COVID-19, more areas of the country were substantially affected.  No one knew how long they’d be told to stay home, when clinics might be told to close, or when closed clinics might reopen. Rules varied at state and local levels, and they changed daily, if not hourly.

MedRisk’s Brian Peers, DPT, MBA who oversees its telerehab program, will give a lively presentation, outlining the initiatives the company took to provide continuity of care during the crisis. Dr. Peers will also share lessons learned from the experience, including the response from payers and patients.

COVID-19 is changing many aspects of modern life, and many of those changes will have long-lasting effects. Drug development is one of those aspects. In this edition of CompTalks, Phil Walls will take us on a Race for the Cure as he examines how both the pandemic as well as politics have influenced drug and vaccine development for the coronavirus. Walls will challenge the audience to think of drug development in a risk versus benefit model where speed to market comes with higher risks – but perhaps justifiable when lives are at stake.

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