News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2018

  • January 5, 2018

    At a time when public- and private-sector leaders are seeking a substantial increase in government funding for opioid-addiction treatment programs and legislation requiring insurers to offer coverage for these treatments, polls show a large share of the public uncertain about the long-term effectiveness of treatment. Over the next few years, this impression could affect family referrals to treatment programs, as well as public support for them and for a government requirement that insurance cover their cost. There is a clear need for the medical and scientific communities to educate the public about the issues surrounding the potential effectiveness of treatment.

  • January 2, 2018

    A podcast presented by the Collegiate Recovery Community at The Ohio State University, discusses diversifying collegiate recovery communities with guest speaker Keith Murphy, a Recovery Counselor with the Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program at Rutgers University.   

  • January 1, 2018

    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.

2017

  • December 22, 2017

    If you are involved in the production, sales, and marketing of pharmaceutical packaging, keep in touch with the latest developments and thinking in making packs patient friendly.  Essential knowledge and experience in enhancing patient adherence through the use of innovative packaging can be found in the HCPC Europe quarterly newsletter.

  • December 20, 2017

    Millions of people depend on anticoagulants – also known as “blood thinners” – to prevent life-threatening blood clots. While these medications do not actually “thin” the blood, they do slow the body’s ability to form dangerous blood clots, such as blood clots in the arms or legs (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) and blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism or PE). Blood thinners, however, do not completely stop the body’s ability to clot, because blood clots are a beneficial part of healing from an injury.

  • December 18, 2017

    Flu activity tends to peak between December and February. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition reminds consumers to double-check medicine labels to avoid doubling up on medicines that contain acetaminophen when treating illnesses during this cold and flu season. Acetaminophen is a common drug ingredient found in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medications. The FDA recommends taking no more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period. Taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage. (Source: AWARXE® Prescription Drug Safety Program, 12/18/17

  • December 15, 2017

    As soon as infants learn to crawl and especially once they learn to walk, their mobility, curiosity, and tendency to put things in their mouths make many substances in the home a potential danger. The effects of the increased availability of opioid pain relievers are widely known and well-publicized.  Recently, light is being shed on this increased availability and its effects on the youngest members of society.  According to DAWN, the number of ED visits involving accidental ingestion of opioid pain relievers among children aged 1 to 5 tripled between 2004 and 2011.

  • December 14, 2017

    Use of acetaminophen during pregnancy for more than 29 days was associated with a more than twofold increased risk of ADHD in offspring, according to results of a large observational study published in Pediatrics.

  • December 13, 2017

    Drugs that are not affordable are of little value and drugs that do not exist are of no value,” according to the chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s committee on drug pricing.  A report, “Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative,” identifies eight steps to cut drug prices. It also provides a list of specific “implementation actions” for various federal agencies, including Congress, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services.  The recommendations come as Americans across the political spectrum say lowering the price of prescription drugs is a top priority. Yet, while individual states have passed laws for more transparency and price controls and the President has publicly called for lower drug prices, Congress has stalled. 

  • December 12, 2017

    For decades, experts have warned that older Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs, often prescribed by multiple doctors, for dubious or unknown reasons. Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Doctors say it is not uncommon to encounter patients taking more than 20 drugs to treat acid reflux, heart disease, depression or insomnia or other disorders. Unlike the overuse of opioid painkillers, the polypharmacy problem has attracted little attention, even though its hazards are well documented.  But some doctors are working to reverse the trend.

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