News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2017

  • September 18, 2017

    Generic medications are just as safe and effective as their brand-name counterparts, and often cost less.  While nearly 9 in 10 prescriptions filled are for generics, many people have questions about whether they are really as good as the name brand medications and, if so, why there is a cost savings. To help educate patients about FDA’s rigorous review process, the economics of pricing, and related issues, FDA offers a range of educational materials, including videos, graphics, fact sheets, and related resources. 

  • September 13, 2017

    Older adults are the largest consumers of over the counter (OTC) medications. Of the older adults who are at risk of a major adverse drug event, more than 50% of these events involve an OTC medication. OTC product use in older adults can be harmful. Results of a small study of patient interviews of participants aged 65 years or older showed that 95% misuse these products, and OTC misuse can result in drug–drug, drug–disease, and drug–age interactions.

  • September 11, 2017

    Almost one-third of people have stopped taking a prescription medicine at some time without telling their health care provider, according to the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll. Twenty-nine percent of people cited side effects as the reason for stopping, while 17% believed they didn't need the drug, 16% said they were feeling better, 15% felt the drug wasn't working and 10% said cost was the reason.

  • September 7, 2017

    Sunday, Sept. 10 is Grandparents Day.  You love your grandchildren and would do anything for them, but did you know these startling facts?

  • September 6, 2017

    Massachusetts health officials have introduced a multimedia effort urging parents to talk to their adolescent children about prescription drug abuse and addiction. The campaign, "Stop Addiction Before It Starts," links parents to tips on how to start a conversation about drugs and information such as how to safely dispose of unused pain medications and where to get help for addiction and recovery. A second phase of the campaign will focus on Hispanic parents with children in middle and high school.

  • September 1, 2017

    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 28, 2017

    About 1 in 8 children (8.7 million) aged 17 or younger lived in households with at least one parent who had a past-year substance use disorder (SUD), according to a new report by SAMHSA. SUDs are characterized by recurrent use of alcohol or other drugs (or both) that results in significant impairment.

  • August 25, 2017

    Diabetics who were nonadherent to their oral diabetes medications had higher medical costs and higher total health care costs compared with those who were adherent, according to a new Express Scripts study, which found that nonadherent diabetes patients last year had 1.3 times higher medical costs and 4% higher total health care expenses compared with adherent patients. Medication adherent patients had 235 fewer ER visits and 50 fewer hospitalizations per 1,000 patients.

    Health care costs for adherent patients with diabetes-related complications were 9% lower than those for individuals who were not adherent to their oral diabetes drugs.  A separate analysis found that adherence to oral diabetes drugs rose 3.6% between 2014 and 2016. The research showed that medication adherence to oral diabetes drugs was highest among commercially insured individuals aged 65 years and older at almost 75%, while those aged 20–44 years had the greatest room for improvement, with slightly less than 50% reporting adherence to oral diabetes drugs in 2016.

  • August 24, 2017

    Presented at the June 2017 meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, the symposium “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Alcohol Treatment But Were Afraid To Ask: A Primer for Non-Clinicians” covers screening and diagnosis of alcohol use disorder, brief interventions, and referral to treatment, as well as the many treatment options and potential pathways through treatment.  Included: discussions of approved and experimental medications and various behavioral therapies.

  • August 23, 2017

    Since 1982, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) has led a grassroots movement to help patients better understand their medications. 

    The NCPIE is a nonprofit organization comprising various members, including patient advocates, health professionals, public health organizations, schools of pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and government officials. 
     
    These members develop programs aimed at helping consumers make educated decisions about their health and about the prescription and OTC medications that they take. The NCPIE's programs are also aimed at health care professionals. 

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