News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2018

  • October 24, 2018

    FDA, working with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, announced Tuesday it recently took steps to target nearly 500 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved prescription drugs to consumers. The initiative was part of Operation Pangea XI, the 11th annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA). "The sale of potentially dangerous and counterfeit drugs by criminal networks on the internet is a large and growing threat to the... 

  • October 22, 2018

    On Saturday, October 27th, law enforcement agencies across the country will be participating in the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Our partner Allied Against Opioid Abuse has developed a helpful resource that explains how safe disposal can help prevent misuse, along with a tool to help find a disposal location in your state.

  • October 12, 2018

    The FDA approved or tentatively approved a record-setting 971 generic drugs in fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30. The agency set a record for most complete responses in one year with 2,548. "Our work is not done. We'll continue taking additional steps to help ensure patients have access to the drugs they need by making generic drug approval more efficient and predictable," stated FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

  • October 10, 2018

    President Donald Trump is expected to sign two bills Wednesday that ban "gag order" clauses in contracts between pharmacies and insurance companies or PBMs. Ronna Hauser, vice president of payment policy and regulatory affairs at the National Community Pharmacists Association, says many members of her group "say a PBM will call them with a warning if they are telling patients it’s less expensive" without insurance. She says pharmacists could be fined for violating their contracts and even dropped from insurance networks.

  • October 2, 2018

    The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) guidelines offer best practices and recommendations for avoiding medication errors in hospitals that highlight the leadership roles that pharmacists play and opportunities for them on interprofessional teams to limit errors. The guidelines urge organizations to have a comprehensive program that includes a medication safety head, an event reporting system, a collaborative medication safety team, and a continuous quality improvement philosophy about evaluation of errors and harm.

  • September 19, 2018

    The Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $1 billion in grants for states, communities and organizations working to address the opioid crisis, of which $930 million will be directed toward expansion of recovery and prevention services. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement that addressing the crisis with "all the resources possible" is a high priority for the Trump administration.

  • September 19, 2018

    About one in seven Americans has diabetes, totaling nearly 30 million people, according to the CDC. The agency noted about 14% of U.S. adults have diabetes, with 10% and 4% representing diagnosed and undiagnosed cases, respectively. The agency noted increasing obesity rates and an aging population are contributing to the rise of diabetes in the U.S. 

  • September 14, 2018

    Up to 6 million Americans could have opioid use disorder, which is nearly triple the government's estimate of 2.1 million, according to new research from McKinsey and Co. The report found undiagnosed opioid use disorder in 82 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries in Massachusetts who received high-dosage treatments of opioids. 

  • September 14, 2018

    The FDA Office of Women’s Health, in collaboration with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and Center for Tobacco Products, will be hosting a 2-day public meeting on Opioid and Nicotine Use, Dependence, and Recovery: Influences of Sex and Gender. The conference will include presentations by experts in the field of opioid and tobacco research, professional education, and clinical care on the biological (sex) and sociological (gender) influences on use, misuse, and recovery.

  • August 30, 2018

    This brochure, prepared by the American Pharmacists Association, describes biologic medications and a type of biologic known as biosimilars, which are highly similar to biologics but may be less expensive for patients. The information is designed to help you make informed decisions about your health care treatment options.

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