News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2017

  • 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.

  • September 28, 2017

    Home health agencies provide services to beneficiaries who are homebound and need skilled nursing care or therapy. Approximately 12 million individuals receive home health care from more than 33,000 providers for causes including acute illness, long-term health conditions, permanent disability, or terminal illness.  Improvements among home health patients can reflect the quality of care from home health agencies.

    • In 2015, the percentage of home health patients with improvement in their ability to take medications orally was 56.3%, compared with 46% in 2010.
    • In 2013, the achievable benchmark for improvement in taking drugs correctly by mouth was 60.7%.
    • Based on current trends, the total population of home health patients with improvement in their ability to take drugs correctly by mouth is estimated to reach the benchmark in 2017.

    (Source: National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report Chartbook on patient safety. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; July 2017. AHRQ Pub. No. 17-0037-EF.)

  • September 26, 2017

    The FDA joined Interpol in clamping down on over 500 websites engaged in illegal sales of potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of prescription medicines — including opioids, antibiotics and injectable epinephrine products to Americans. The FDA’s effort was part of a global operation led by Interpol to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of illegal and potentially counterfeit or substandard medical products on the Internet.  At the center of the initiative were identification of the makers and distributors of illegal prescription drugs and removal of those products from the supply chain. Along with health hazards, illegal online pharmacies can pose other risks to consumers, including credit card fraud, identity theft and computer viruses, the FDA reported.

  • September 21, 2017

    An estimated 6.2 million people aged 12 or older reported misusing psychotherapeutic drugs in 2016, reports the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The agency defines misuse as nontherapeutic use of a prescription medication at least once in the past month and collects data on four main categories of prescription psychotherapeutic drugs – pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. Of those four categories, prescription pain relievers were the most commonly misused by people aged 12 or older.

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