News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • October 7, 2016

    Americans take a lot of medications. Almost 70 percent of people take at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two drugs, according to a Mayo Clinic study. Twenty percent of people—especially those ages 65 years and older—take five or more different prescription drugs. Your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare professionals are your best allies in helping you understand and manage your medications.

  • October 7, 2016
    University of Pennsylvania research addresses the prescription drugs that are leftover after surgical tooth extraction. According to the report, more than one-half of the opioids prescribed to patients following the dental procedure were left unused. Results of the study show within 5 days of surgery, most patients are experiencing relatively little pain, and yet, most still had well over half of their opioid prescription left, according to a co-author of the study. When translated to the broad U.S. population, the study suggests that more than 100 million opioid pills prescribed to
  • October 7, 2016

    Chronic health problems are often treated with one or more medications. Although all of these medications may help, they may also cause problems when taken together. And as the body ages, it may also react differently to medication. Some harmful effects can become more likely. Doctors who care for older adults have to prescribe medication very carefully.

    Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It’s the most common drug ingredient in America. In fact, more than 50 million Americans use a medication that contains acetaminophen each week.

  • October 1, 2016

    NCPIE serves as co-editor for a monthly column in Pharmacy Today (American Pharmacists Association) The column is entitled “One-to-One” and is intended to help develop pharmacists’ medication communication and counseling skills to promote safe and appropriate medicine use.

  • September 23, 2016
    Falls are the No. 1 cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans. In 2014, a total of 29 million falls among older Americans caused 7 million injuries and cost an estimated $31 billion, CDC reports. “Older adult falls are increasing and, sadly, often herald the end of independence,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. To help reduce falls among older adults, CDC has developed the Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI)
  • September 19, 2016
    Parents may give their child too much or too little medicine when dispensing medication, particularly dosing cups, according to a study in Pediatrics. Researchers asked 2,110 parents of children age 8 or younger to measure nine doses of liquid medication in random order, and parents doled out the wrong dose 43% of the time using a dosing cup, compared to 16% of the time when using an oral syringe. (Source: Pediatrics, September 2016)
  • September 15, 2016
    The survey, conducted by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA), received responses from 1001 individuals. Topline results showed that: · 56% have had issues/difficulty obtaining a prescription for their pain medications, while 39% cite their physician no longer prescribes pain medication, and 38% say their physician is not prescribing their specific medication; · 63% said their pharmacy carries only a limited supply of medication, and 28% said the pharmacy does not carry their medication at all;
  • September 13, 2016
    Some 5 million Medicare Part D enrollees aged 65 and older do not take their blood pressure medications properly, according to a Vital Signs report from the CDC. This improper use increases their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and death. “A simple action can avoid potentially deadly consequences: take your blood pressure medicine as prescribed,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. Healthcare systems — including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, community health workers, practices, hospitals, and insurers — can play a key role in improving blood pressure control
  • September 9, 2016
    Almost half of all Americans take prescription painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants or sedatives, according to results of a federal survey released recently. The prevalent use of these drugs could help explain why millions of Americans end up misusing or abusing them. Last year, for the first time, the government’s National Survey on Drug Use decided to ask the people it interviewed about all uses of prescription medicines, not just inappropriate use. The survey found that 119 million Americans age 12 and over took prescription psychotherapeutic drugs. That’s 45 percent of the
  • September 6, 2016
    The FDA will hold a public meeting on November 9-10, 2016 to solicit feedback from pharmaceutical manufacturers and other stakeholders on how healthcare providers can communicate “relevant, truthful and non-misleading scientific and medical information” to patients regarding the off-label use of approved prescription medications. The meeting will be held at FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, MD from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. Click here for details about a live Webcast of this public hearing on the day of the public hearing.