News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • February 27, 2008
    Recently published research in a study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has found that nearly 50 percent of patients taking antihypertensive drugs in three community health centers were unable to accurately name a single one of their medications listed in their medical chart. That number climbed to 65 percent for patients with low health literacy. The study was published in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, and looked at 119 patients, average age 55; from community health
  • February 19, 2008
    These Guidelines provide pharmacists and pharmacies with specific recommendations for making important medication information accessible for patients with vision loss. The Guidelines are a collaborative project of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Foundation and the American Foundation for the Blind. The Guidelines also serve as a resource for persons with vision loss and organizations serving this population. Included in the Guidelines: * General Recommendations for Prescription Labels; * Specific Recommendations for Large-Print prescription and Auxiliary labels;
  • February 11, 2008
    The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCC MERP /the Council) has issued a set of recommendations to help minimize the potential for errors associated with the use of suffixes in some drug names. (Examples of suffixes include CD, SR, etc.) The Council calls upon regulatory and standards-setting agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, practitioners, and other stakeholders to collaborate in implementing strategies to address this issue. The Council recommends the immediate development of educational tools and programs
  • January 17, 2008
    Parents should not give children under age two over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is issuing a public health advisory to warn parents to avoid these drugs for children under age two due to the possibility of serious and potentially life- threatening side effects. Pharmaceutical companies quit selling dozens of versions of OTC cough and cold medicines targeted specifically to babies and toddlers in Oct. 2007. That same month, the FDA advisers voted that these medicines don't work in small children
  • January 10, 2008
    About 3.1 million people in the United States aged 12 to 25 (5.3 percent of this age group) have used over-the-counter (non-prescription) cough and cold medicines to get high at least once in their lifetimes, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The level is comparable to LSD, and more than the reported use of methamphetamines, among those aged 12 to 25. White youths were more than three times as likely as Black youths to have misused these drugs during the past year.
  • January 1, 2008
    Discovery-British Columbia-Western Canada’s Quarterly Newsletter from Canada’s Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies
  • January 1, 2008
    NCPIE’s Executive Vice President, Wm. Ray Bullman, participated in the above noted October 2007 IOM workshop. During a panel entitled, “Other Stakeholder Reaction to Prescription Use Instruction Standardization: Physicians and Patients,” Mr. Bullman voiced support for USP – a founding member of NCPIE which has served continuously on the NCPIE board of directors since its inception in 1982 - taking the organizational lead on such an important medication safe use issue. In his remarks, Mr. Bullman noted, “Addressing the issue of drug label


  • December 19, 2007
    The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) released a pair of plain- language guides that outline the latest scientific evidence on the effectiveness and safety of oral medications for adults with type 2 diabetes. AHRQ’s analysis is the first to summarize evidence on the effectiveness and adverse events for all commonly used type 2 diabetes medications. As new classes of oral diabetes medications have become available, patients and clinicians have faced a growing list of treatment options and choices. The consumer-targeted guide, called Pills
  • December 12, 2007
    D.A.R.E. America today launched a new Prescription /OTC Medicine Abuse curricula. The lessons, designed for 5th, 7th, and 9th graders, were developed with assistance of nearly a dozen national governmental agencies, businesses, nonprofit groups, and trade associations, including the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) and the following stakeholder organizations: · Abbott Laboratories · Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, SAMHSA · Consumer Healthcare Products Association · National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • November 9, 2007
    The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed this consumer summary guide to help consumers talk with their doctor or nurse about two of the many kinds of blood pressure pills. It compares the benefits, side effects, and prices of drugs called ACEIs (pronounced “aces”) and ARBs. The Guide addresses Fast Facts on ACEIs and ARBs, Why treat high blood pressure, Comparing ACEIs and ARBs, Serious Risks, and Price. For free print copies, call the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse (800) 358-9295. Ask for AHRQ Publication Number 08-EHC003-2A.