News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • December 21, 2004
    The FDA today released the following statement on NIH halting a clinical trial involving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working with the National Institutes of Health to review the available scientific information on naproxen following the decision of the National Institute on Aging to halt a clinical trial studying non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Preliminary information from the study showed some evidence of
  • December 20, 2004
    NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences announces the launch of TAKING MEDICINES, part of the NIH SeniorHealth Web site. Developed for an older audience, TAKING MEDICINES features easy-to-understand information on safe medication usage, how new medicines are developed, side effects and drug interactions, managing medicines and the safe use of medicines, personalized medicine, and more. TAKING MEDICINES also features video clips and quizzes presented in a user-friendly format that contains a very limited amount of text on
  • December 16, 2004
    Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, has launched a public education campaign and free website designed to help consumers save money on medicines. The reports compare a variety of prescription drugs on price, effectiveness, and safety to help consumers and prescribers identify the most effective and affordable medicines. The first three drugs addressed are for treating cholesterol, heartburn,and arthritis pain ( among about 20 classes of drugs to be posted by the magazine on the web site).
  • December 6, 2004
    The Nation’s medicine cabinets are more crowded than ever, with almost half of all people taking at least one prescription medicine and one in six taking three or more medications, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) annual check-up on Americans' health. The report, Health, United States 2004 presents the latest health data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics and dozens of other Federal health agencies, academic and professional health associations, and
  • November 18, 2004
    Five years after a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine (IOM) report focused attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that nation’s quality of care has improved. Four in 10 (40%) people say the quality of health care has gotten worse in the past five years, while one in six (17%) say the quality of care has gotten better and nearly four in 10 (38%) say it has stayed the same, according to a new survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the
  • November 16, 2004
    Developed in collaboration with the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Educate Before you Medicate addresses the educational needs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension clientele in an effort to provide information on medication use and safety. Program materials enable Cooperative Extension agents to address the importance of medication compliance, speaking confidently to healthcare providers about medicines; the importance of supplying all health care providers a complete medical history with all prescription and over-the-counter
  • November 16, 2004
    With the abundance of conflicting information available about dietary supplements, it is more important than ever to talk with your doctor and other health care providers to help you sort the reliable information from the questionable. This brochure, available as a PDF, was collaboratively prepared by the Center for Food and Nutrition, FDA, NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, NCPIE and nearly a dozen other national organizations.
  • November 15, 2004
    The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, with grant support from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a NCPIE member, has produced A Parent’s Guide to … Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse. The brochure resents information in a question & answer format, and includes advice on what parents can do to prevent drug abuse, and how to recognize and help teens who are using drugs.
  • November 1, 2004
    The National Women’s Health Resource Center, in partnership with NCPIE, dedicates its Oct. issue of the National Women’s Health Report to an overview of health literacy and current trends, including a description of the problem and its effects on women and the health care system overall. Tips for identifying health literacy problems and how to overcome them are presented, along with suggestions for improving communication to promote safe medicine use.
  • October 25, 2004
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Public Health Advisory announcing a multi-pronged strategy to warn the public about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior ("suicidality") in children and adolescents being treated with antidepressant medications. Manufacturers are directed to add a “black box” warning to the health professional labeling of all antidepressant medications. The second element of the agency’s strategy is a Patient Medication Guide (MedGuide), FDA-approved user-friendly information for patients, which are