News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • October 30, 2017

    More than 50% of people in 10 states who died from opioid overdoses in the last 6 months of 2016 tested positive for fentanyl, according to new research. Out of 5,152 opioid overdose deaths in those states, CDC researchers found that nearly 3,000 tested positive for fentanyl—and more than 700 tested positive for fentanyl analogs, including carfentanil. The researchers examined opioid overdose deaths in 10 states.

  • October 26, 2017

    Fight the Fakes is a global campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of fake medicines. The campaign gives a voice to those who have been personally impacted and shares the stories of those working to put a stop to this threat to public health. It seeks to build a global movement of organizations and individuals who will shine light on the negative impact that fake medicines have on people around the globe and to reduce the negative consequences on individuals worldwide.

  • October 24, 2017

    The FDA warns pet owners against using internet pharmacies that sell pet medicines without a prescription in a new Consumer Update. Many pet owners turn to the internet when buying pet medicines to save money and time, but as FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) notes, pet owners should look closely at websites to ensure they are ordering from a reputable pharmacy and protecting their pets from counterfeit or unapproved medicines. Online pharmacies that do not require a prescription present a red flag, as do websites that offer “evaluations” by one of their veterinarians on staff after looking over a form filled out by the pet owner.  FDA’s Consumer Update also offers tips for pet owners on how to recognize legitimate online pharmacies, including looking for those sites with a .pharmacy domain. Consumers can trust these sites as safe and legitimate because they have been evaluated against a set of safety standards under NABP’s .Pharmacy Verified Websites Program. In addition to identifying a site by seeing .pharmacy in the web address, a list of verified sites is also available at

  • October 18, 2017

    Thomas E. Menighan, Executive Director and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association, offered one specific remedy for increased drug prices to the Senate Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.  Menighan urged the Senate to pass S109, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, which would amend the Social Security Act to provide Medicare coverage for pharmacist services.

    Menighan also took a firm position on pharmaceutical rebates; under questioning from Senator Alexander, who asked “Why do we need rebates at all? Wouldn’t it increase transparency if manufacturers created a list price? Wouldn’t it make it simpler for us to figure out where the money goes?” Menighan said that his organization opposes rebates “in all their forms.” Additionally, Menighan reiterated APhA’s position against legalizing the importation of non-FDA approved drugs, saying that pharmacists shouldn’t have to worry about diversion and counterfeits and that ultimately the practice would do more harm than good.  APhA is a NCPIE member represented on the NCPIE Board of Directors.

  • October 17, 2017

    NCPIE member, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), has been named a 2017 Global Patient Safety Champion by the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global).  NABP has been a leader in patient safety for almost two decades, starting in 1999 with the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites® (VIPPS®) program that has granted accreditation to safe online pharmacies in the U.S., reviewing thousands of websites and providing a “Not Recommended” list since 2008.   In 2014, NABP launched the .Pharmacy Verified Website Program, becoming the official registry operator for the .pharmacy domain, to create a safe online environment where consumers can be confident that the websites where they buy medication or obtain information are safe and legitimate.   NCPIE is a member of ASOP Global, a non-profit organization dedicated to combatting illegal online pharmacies and counterfeit medicines to make the Internet safe for consumers worldwide through advocacy, research and education.

  • October 16, 2017

    For many people, the warnings for a medication can read like the fine print of a home mortgage. They’re lengthy, confusing, and mostly ignored.

    That’s why the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) marks each October as a chance to remind patients, healthcare providers, and caregivers about the importance of paying attention to warnings and not mixing medications with substances that can do harm. This October marks the NCPIE’s 32nd Talk About Your Medicine Month.

  • October 10, 2017

    For parents, the trend of unwinding with a regular evening glass of wine or cocktail can have a negative impact on both their own health and their children. “Our world has changed tremendously in the last 10 years as far as drugs and alcohol are concerned,”

  • October 2, 2017

    Manufacturers of fast-acting opioids will have to fund voluntary training for healthcare professionals who prescribe the drug, including education on safe prescribing practices and non-opioid alternatives, including principles related to the acute and chronic pain management; non-pharmacologic treatments for pain; and pharmacologic treatments for pain (both non-opioid analgesic and opioid analgesic).  For the first time, this training will also be made available to other healthcare professionals who are involved in the management of patients with pain, including pharmacists and nurses, which is in addition to prescribers of opioid analgesics

  • October 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.

  • September 28, 2017

    Nearly 14 million Americans, most of whom are 65 years of age or older, have low vision or are blind, and for these individuals, not being able to clearly read a prescription label can result in unnecessary injury or even death.  The goal of the National Council on Disability (NCD)’s “See to My Safety” public awareness campaign is to promote the knowledge of the availability of best practices regarding accessible prescription medication labels. The campaign includes an informational brochure and an audio public service announcement (PSA), as well as regular distribution of news of pharmacies voluntarily offering accessible drug labeling.