News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2016

  • June 9, 2016
    The California End of Life Option Act goes into effect on June 9, 2016, making California the fifth state to legalize physician-assisted dying. Under the law, terminally ill adults in the state who have less than 6 months to live can obtain a physician’s prescription for a lethal dose of “aid- in-dying” drugs. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the controversial legislation last October. The law requires that a patient requesting lethal drugs make three formal requests to their attending physician (one written and two oral, 15 days
  • June 9, 2016
    The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, and the National Consumers league (NCL) have formed a partnership to provide tools to seniors and their caregivers to stay safe when shopping for medication on the Internet. “Escalating costs for hundreds of drugs prescribed to treat chronic conditions not necessarily covered fully by Medicare make it more likely that (older adults), who often are living on fixed incomes, will turn to the Internet to look for less expensive options,” ASOP Global executive director Libby
  • June 7, 2016
    FDA has warned that people taking higher-than-recommended doses of the diarrhea medicine loperamide (Imodium) —including through abuse or misuse of the product—run the risk of serious, potentially fatal heart problems. The agency noted that the risk of these serious heart problems may also increase when high doses of loperamide, which is sold both OTC and by prescription, are taken with several kinds of medicines that interact with the antidiarrheal drug. Most of the reported serious heart problems were in people intentionally misusing and abusing high doses of
  • June 6, 2016
    The next time you reach for an over-the-counter (OTC) product to treat your upset stomach or heartburn, consider whether you should use one of the many antacids that don’t have aspirin. Why? Aspirin-containing medicines to treat heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, or upset stomach can cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, especially in some people, warns the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Who’s at Higher Risk of Bleeding: Because aspirin thins the blood, FDA believes the aspirin in these combination
  • June 6, 2016
    Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor Pharmacy Times
  • June 3, 2016
    Key Finding: Most Sites Studied Violate Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act. A research project by students of the Fisher College Criminal Justice Division in Boston, MA, found various types of opioids easy to locate and obtain illegally through multiple online platforms. The students investigated the availability of opioids on the Internet as an extension of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ policy to address the increase of opioid abuse, addiction, and harm within the state. The student researchers sought to determine the
  • June 3, 2016
    In this episode of The Healthy Children Show, Little Laura shares her top five safety tips for dosing and giving liquid medication. Remember to always use the dosing device that comes with your child’s medicine. If there is no dosing device, ask your pediatrician or pharmacist for one that should be used. Medication should not be measured in teaspoons or tablespoons, especially not spoons taken from a kitchen drawer. (Source: American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • June 1, 2016

    We’ve all heard of the power of positive thinking to improve one’s attitude or outlook on life. Imagine what could happen if encouragement and support were used to counsel patients about their medications and disease state, rather than scolding or correction.

  • May 25, 2016
    The FDA today finalized the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices. Highlights of the Final Nutrition Facts Label Label Formats: Original vs. New What’s Different
  • May 25, 2016
    A new study in JAMA Cardiology suggests that some patients do not discuss their adherence to medications with their cardiologists. After administering questionnaires to both patients and physicians at two academic and two community-based cardiology practices in the Chicago area, researchers found that 61% of patients rarely or never discussed adherence, 45% of whom admitted to sometimes or usually forgetting to take their medications. An additional 10% said they had missed one dose or more of medication in the past 2 weeks. About two-thirds of the

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