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Surgeon General Vivek Murthy wants to cautions US Doctors to the dangers of Opioids

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In the next few days, every doctor in the United States will be receiving this letter, from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.

It marks the first time since the position’s inception America’s top doctor has reached out to all physicians.

But Murthy is sending the letters for an extremely urgent reason: Americans are dying each year by the tens of thousands from overdoses of prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin.

“I am asking for your help to solve an urgent health crisis facing America: the opioid epidemic,” Murthy wrote.

In the letter, Murthy empathizes with those doctors who are simply seeking to help their ailing patients.

“It is important to recognize that we arrived at this place on a path paved with good intentions,” he wrote.

But at the same time, he explains those same good intentions have regressed into something far worse.

For a 15-year period between 1999 and 2014, more than 165,000 people in the U.S. died from overdoses that were related to opioid pain medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While some of those perished bought their drugs on the street illegally, several others did not. In 2012, healthcare providers around the nation wrote 259 million prescriptions for such medication — the same amount would equate to enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle.

“The results have been devastating,” Murthy wrote.

He told doctors he was inspired to write the letter after touring the nation and learning that despite widespread media attention to the opioid overdose epidemic, many doctors still didn’t realize how dangerous the drugs could be. If you are taking medicines that fall into the category of opioids (such as pain killer relievers) and are not sure whether they are still in your system, you may want to do some research into 10 panel drug test and find out how you can conduct this at home before drug tests are conducted at your place of work.

He said even a friend of his didn’t know.

“I was having dinner with him and I said, ‘Can you believe that we were taught that these opioid medications weren’t addictive in our training?’ ” Murthy told a group at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado in June.
“And he put down his fork and he looked up at me and he said, ‘Wait, you mean they are addictive?’ ” Murthy added.

As many other doctors would have, his friend, a cardiologist in Florida, learned in medical school and in residency that opioids weren’t addictive as long as a patient was truly in pain, Murthy said.

“He’s trained at some of the best institutions in the country. He’s one of the most compassionate doctors that you’ll ever meet,” he said.

“Many clinicians have told me they weren’t aware of just how bad the problem had gotten,” Murthy said. “Many were not aware of the connection between the epidemic and prescribing habits.”

Essentially to retrain physicians, Murthy included in his mailing a card with tips for prescribing opioids. The card instructs physicians that they should try other pain relief approaches, such as physical therapy or nonaddictive medications, with most patients before prescribing opioids.

If they do choose to prescribe opioids, he instructs them to “start low and go slow” — meaning to prescribe the lowest dose for the shortest duration of time.

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FBI: Amity CEO Ridhima Singh, others accused of major healthcare fraud

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — The FBI says, CEO Ridhima Singh of Amity Home Health Care is among the 28 people, that include doctors and nurses, accused in the scheme. Federal prosecutors charged the Bay Area’s largest home health care provider, Amity Home Health Care, with involvement in a kickback scheme that led to $115 million in tainted claims. The complaint said medical professionals received $8 million worth of bribes disguised as payroll, phony medical directorships, reimbursements, entertainment or gifts, in what the Department of Justice said was simply “a cash for patients scheme.”

The man accused of stabbing and killing 62 year old Parmjit Singh in Tracy made his first court appearance. 21 year old Anthony Kreiter-Rhoads of Tracy pleaded not guilty of homicide during his arraignment. Police are still investigating the motive behind the crime.

And Priyanka Chopra & her husband Nick Jonas were named by People Magazine as their pick for ‘Best Dressed of the Year.’

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Business

PM Modi’s Houston reception sold out, 50,000 to attend

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HOUSTON (Diya TV) — “Howdy, #Modi!”, the community event in Houston next month featuring Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sold out, with more than 50,000 people registering for the program. This community summit will be at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team. The expected crowd will be the largest for a foreign leader in the United States other than for Pope Francis.

The Indian government has begun to ease restrictions in most areas of Kashmir, with barricades being lifted to allow more freedom of movement of people and traffic. Markets remained shut and phone and internet services are still suspended. Large security measures are also still in place. Students are being asked to return to school, but most classrooms are still mostly empty.

With a lot of narratives online about what’s going on in Kashmir, we asked Indian Counsel General in San Francisco, Sanjay Panda, to give context and sort out fact from fiction.

Fire Eye, an American-based cyber security firm says hackers broke into a leading India-based healthcare website, stealing nearly seven million records containing patient and doctor information. Fire Eye did not publicly name the website, but says the cyber criminals are mostly China-based and are selling the stolen data underground.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Indian PM Modi to address the United Nations in September

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NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) session on September 28th. He is also expected to attend a multitude of high-level summits while in New York. He will also speak at a diaspora event in Houston on September 22nd.

India and the U.S. are “very close” to resolving all their trade-related differences, with Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal planning to meet the U.S. Trade Representative in the next month.

India is the only major Asian economy that’s grown its export share since the start of the tariff wars in 2018. It’s also the one with the fewest trade links to China.

As opioid epidemic spreads globally, the Savera Medical Centre in Edmonton, Canada is perhaps the first clinic to focus on treating South Asians affected by opioids

And in a story but you’ve got to see to believe, there were more than students attending class at IIT Bombay. This cow wanted to in on some of the technical training.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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