News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • August 8, 2016
    Summer is still with us. Be sure to know the facts about sunscreen safety Sunscreen Safety and the dangers of spending time in the sun without the proper sun protection. The FDA’s Sunscreen Safety website offers resources for consumers, health professionals, organizations, and campaign supporters on sun protection measures including:
    • Limiting time in the sun when the sun’s rays are most intense
    • Wearing clothing to cover skin exposed to the sun
    • Using Broad Spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher regularly and as directed
  • August 4, 2016
    Pharmacy interventions and benefit plan designs with low copays could be key factors in helping to improve adherence to statin medications for patients living in minority communities, according to a new study developed in collaboration between Walgreens and the University of Chicago. In these predominantly African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods, better adherence was associated with several variables, including copays under $10, the use of 90-day refills, and whether a patient had a health plan other than Medicaid. The study specifically compared adherence rates
  • August 3, 2016
    Even if you eat a wide variety of foods, how can you be sure that you are getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need as you get older? If you are over 50, your nutritional needs may change. Informed food choices are the first place to start, making sure you get a variety of foods while watching your calorie intake. Supplements and fortified foods may also help you get appropriate amounts of nutrients. To help you make informed decisions, talk to your doctor and/or registered dietitian. They can work together with you to determine if your intake of a specific
  • August 3, 2016
    Many older adults have long lists of medications. A 2008 study found that more than 50% of older individuals take at least five medications. However, problems can arise when patients continue taking drugs for conditions that may be temporary; when they expect a prescription for treatment; and when patients see numerous doctors, who may not
  • August 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.

  • August 1, 2016
    Nearly one-half of patients with type 2 diabetes have inadequate glycemic control, and one of the top contributing factors is poor medication adherence. Non-adherence is also linked to increased morbidity and mortality, and greater costs of outpatient care, emergency department visits, hospitalization, and managing complications of diabetes. Specific obstacles to medication adherence in type 2 diabetes need to be better identified, and strategies aimed at poor adherence should focus on relieving medication burden and addressing negative medication beliefs of patients.
  • July 28, 2016
    Patients with multiple chronic conditions, polypharmacy and unmet social needs are often at risk for serious drug therapy problems during the transition from hospital to home. A new model has made these transitions safer and decreased hospital admissions and emergency department visits for patients. Developed by the University of Tennessee in partnership with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, the SafeMed model uses a primary care-based team, which includes physicians, pharmacists, nurses and community health workers, to form a support
  • July 27, 2016
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration it I strengthening label warnings on a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones because the drugs can lead to disabling side effects, including long-term nerve damage and ruptured tendons. The Agency also cautioned that these bacteria-fighting drugs — including levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro) — shouldn't be prescribed for sinusitis, chronic bronchitis or simple urinary tract infections unless no other treatments options exist. Besides Cipro and Levaquin, other fluoroquinolones include moxifloxacin
  • July 26, 2016
    A new study shows that medical marijuana is bringing down Medicare spending in Washington, DC, and the 17 states that also have legalized it, to the tune of $165.2 million in 2013. University of Georgia researchers estimate the government program could have saved as much as $468 million if all states offered the drug as an alternative to prescription medications. Their review of Part D prescriptions from 2010–13, with a focus on medicines that could also be treated with medical marijuana, indicated that enrollees filled fewer orders during those years to relieve
  • July 25, 2016
    An OptumRx study involving subjects who received several different kinds of medication alerts, refills, and dosage reminders via mobile phone culminated in an overall medication adherence rate of 85% on the intervention side and only 77% adherence on the control side. Adherence rates are higher when using the most complex form of mobile technology that includes artificial intelligence-adapted text messages with reinforcement learning. Live patient counseling with pharmacists is the most effective channel for medication adherence. The maxim of “2