News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • October 16, 2003
    Error-reduction in non-health care settings (schools, home, day-care centers, etc.) is the focus of new recommendations from the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, on which NCPIE serves. Their recommendations include training personnel who are responsible for medication management, and ensuring that controlled medications are properly stored.
  • October 9, 2003
    NCPIE’s 18th annual observance of “Talk About Prescriptions” Month kicked off an October full of activities to highlight the value of medicine communication. This month’s theme is “Educate Before You Medicate: A Prescription for Patient Safety.” Just a month ago, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, issued his own educational “prescription” as part of NCPIE’s “Be MedWise” campaign. This has been reported extensively in the trade and lay press, including an AP story this week. Also, the United Kingdom launches its
  • September 10, 2003
    About Over-the-Counter Medicines
  • September 10, 2003
    As part of NCPIE’s “Be MedWise” campaign, Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, M.D., MPH, U.S. Surgeon General, today issued a “Be MedWise” ducational “prescription” at a Washington, DC press conference. Also participating on NCPIE’s behalf were FDA Deputy Commissioner Lester Crawford, DVM, Ph.D.; and Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, Pharm.D., University of Maryland School of pharmacy.Carmona’s 'prescription' is a list of questions consumers should ask their pharmacist, physician, or other health care professional before selecting or taking over- the-counter
  • August 25, 2003
    "Better Informed Consumers” are just one part of a new five-part strategic plan unveiled by FDA Commissioner Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. “Protecting and Advancing America’s Health: A Strategic Action Plan for the 21st Century,” also focuses on “patient and consumer safety.” These components of the FDA’s plan complement NCPIE’s mission to improve communication between consumers and health care professionals about the safe, appropriate use of medicines. According to the FDA, people’s everyday choices “can have a great impact on their own health and the health of the
  • August 1, 2003
    Addressing the Food and Drug Administration’s July 31 public meeting on improving written consumer medicine information (CMI) that accompanies prescriptions, NCPIE representatives laid the groundwork for a private sector initiative to meet by 2006 federal goals for CMI distribution and content. “NCPIE has stepped forward to serve as catalyst and convener to stimulate voluntary, private sector efforts” to meet these goals, noted NCPIE Chairperson Linda Golodner. “We encourage all organizations “ particularly consumer and patient groups “ to
  • June 6, 2003
    The Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting July 31 in Washington, DC on the private sector’s efforts to meet a year 2006 goal addressing the distribution and usefulness of consumer written prescription medicine information. The notice, which includes four questions the FDA wants addressed at the meeting, was published in the June 5, 2003 Federal Register. At issue is the pharmacy- distributed, computer-generated leaflet that accompanies most prescriptions. A 2001 FDA national evaluation of these leaflets found the
  • April 18, 2003
    One-fourth of outpatients studied at four adult primary care practices in Boston were found to experience adverse drug events during a three-month period, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (April 17). Of these events, 13% were serious, and 39% were ameliorable or preventable. "Ameliorable adverse drug events were attributed to poor communication,” the authors found. They defined this as “the physician’s failure to respond to symptoms reported by the patient or the patient’s failure to report symptoms to the physician.”
  • March 5, 2003
    A rare study of non-institutionalized Medicare enrollees' prescription drug use, published in today’s Journal of the AMA, found that 42% of adverse drug events (ADEs) judged to be “serious, life-threatening or fatal” were deemed preventable. Of those preventable ADEs, over half occurred at the prescribing stage and at the monitoring stage. About one-fifth of the errors were due to patient adherence problems. The research involved an examination in 1999-2000 of nearly 28,000 Medicare enrollees in a New England medical group practice. To help reduce the
  • February 14, 2003
    An editorial in this week’s British Medical Journal observes that non- compliance “continues to represent a serious therapeutic deficit at the core of medical practice.” The authors note that “it is the patients' agendas” not those of healthcare professionals that determine whether or not patients will take medicines. The U.K.-preferred term for compliance, “concordance,” is defined as “an agreement between a patient and a health care professional about whether, when and how medicines are to be taken.” Further, the BMJ