News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2016

  • 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.
  • September 1, 2016
    Polypharmacy is an increasingly troublesome trend among older adults, who often are overburdened with inappropriate or unnecessary medications. Drugs found on the Beers list—named for the doctor who started it—potentially cause confusion, falls, respiratory distress, and other harm to this patient population; yet they are still unwittingly prescribed. The problem is amplified when hospital doctors add medications to treat the problem for which a patient was admitted, prevent complications, or control adverse effects from the original drugs. Prescribing decisions
  • September 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 30, 2016
    Vaccinations are essential for reducing childhood disease and keeping children healthy. FDA’s Vaccines for Children, a Guide for Parents and Caregivers provides details about the types of routinely administered vaccines available for children and answers questions parents and caregivers may have. Steps to take when your child is vaccinated include reviewing the vaccine information sheets, talking to your health care professional about the risks and benefits of vaccines, informing your health care provider of any illnesses or allergies before vaccination, and reporting any
  • August 30, 2016
    Most consumers fail to consider safety factors when choosing an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, according to a survey by the U.S. Pain Foundation and supported by McNeil Consumer Healthcare. The survey found that of 1,292 U.S. adults who had used an OTC pain reliever in the last 90 days, 65% did not consider other OTC medicines they were taking and 45% failed to account for their prescription medications
  • August 26, 2016
    In an effort to increase medication adherence, Children’s Health in Dallas is testing technology that uses tiny sensors embedded in the medicine. The sensors connects with a patch the patient wears on his or her side, relaying such information as increases or drops in blood pressure, heart rate, and sleep patterns. That data is then transmitted via the cloud to a server at the hospital. Patients, caregivers, and providers can view the data and see whether medications have been taken and whether they were in the proper dose and schedule. The first patient to test the
  • August 25, 2016
    Many patients with clogged arteries or those who have survived a heart attack don't consistently take medications prescribed to prevent life-threatening complications, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Less than half of patients took their drugs at least four out of every five days, a rate that lowered the odds of death, heart attack and surgery. “We have effective, safe inexpensive drugs that prevent stroke, death and heart attack but they don't work unless the patient chooses to take them,” said Dr. Marie Brown, a
  • August 16, 2016
    New research links use of acetaminophen during pregnancy to higher risk for multiple behavioral problems in children. The study, conducted by Evie Stergiakouli, Ph.D., of the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and colleagues, examined the associations between offspring behavioral problems and maternal prenatal acetaminophen use, maternal postnatal acetaminophen use, and her partner’s acetaminophen use. Conclusions and Relevance: Children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral

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