News you can use: health & drug safety updates


  • August 3, 2007
    The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) today released, “Enhancing Prescription Medicine Adherence: A National Action Plan.” The report offers a comprehensive review of the extent and nature of poor medicine adherence, its health and economic costs, and its underlying factors. Included are 10 action steps / recommendations that can significantly impact medication adherence and can be readily implemented.
  • August 1, 2007
    Economic Consequences
  • July 30, 2007
    AP News
  • June 15, 2007
    U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., (D-Del.) introduced a Senate resolution designating August 2007 as “National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.” The initiative highlights the month of August—when students nationwide will be preparing for the upcoming school year - as an opportunity for parents to educate themselves and to talk to their teens about the dangers associated with medicine abuse. For more, see:
  • June 14, 2007
    AHRQ’s latest Healthcare 411 audio podcast (Reference: “Lab Tests,” June 6, 2007) features AHRQ Director Carolyn Clancy, M.D. discussing the importance of common blood tests and other screening tests. Lab tests can help monitor the effectiveness or possible adverse effects of some medicines. You can listen to the audio program directly through your computer if it has a sound card and speakers and can play MP3 audio files, or you can download it to a portable audio device. In any case, you will be able to listen at your convenience.
  • May 21, 2007
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of a potential safety issue related to Avandia (rosiglitazone), a drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes. Safety data from controlled clinical trials have shown that there is a potentially significant increase in the risk of heart attack and heart-related deaths in patients taking Avandia. However, other published and unpublished data from long-term clinical trials of Avandia, including an interim analysis of data from the RECORD trial (a large, ongoing, randomized open label trial) and unpublished reanalyses of data
  • April 13, 2007
    In 2004, 1.2 million hospitalized patients experienced an adverse drug event, 90 percent of which were due to a side effect from a medication that was properly administered. Average total hospital costs for patients who experienced drug side effects or other adverse drug events were $10,100, compared with an average cost of $7,600 for patients who didn't experience adverse drug events.
  • March 29, 2007
    The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a special web page to warn consumers about the dangers of buying isotretinoin (Accutane) online. Isotretinoin is a drug approved for the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne that does not respond to antibiotics. Improperly used, isotretinoin can cause severe side effects, including birth defects. Serious mental health problems have also been reported with isotretinoin use. The URL is:
  • March 7, 2007
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and The Advertising Council launched a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to encourage adults to take a more proactive role in their health care. Research shows that consumers who get more involved with their health care can greatly improve the safety of their care, but patients are generally unaware of what to do to help prevent medical mistakes. According to a recent study conducted by AHRQ and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 57 percent of Americans do not believe that preventable medical errors occur often.
  • February 9, 2007
    The National Drug Control Policy, (ONDCP) released President Bush’s 2007 National Drug Control Strategy. The Administration’s new Strategy outlines a balanced strategy against illegal drugs, including support for programs that stop drug use before it starts, provide treatment for drug users, and disrupt the market for illegal drugs. According to the Monitoring the Future Study—the largest survey on teen drug use in the United States, as overall drug use has declined in America, prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens, remains troubling. Prescription drug abuse ranks