News you can use: health & drug safety updates

2005

  • November 2, 2005
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today began requiring drug manufacturers to submit prescription drug label information to FDA in a new electronic format. This electronic format will allow healthcare providers and the general public to more easily access the product information found in the FDA-approved package inserts ("labels") for all approved medicines in the United States. These new electronic product labels will be the key element and primary source of medication information for “DailyMed” — a new interagency online health information
  • October 27, 2005
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is notifying health care providers and patients of a problem with blood glucose meters made by Abbott Diabetes Care, Alameda, Calif. The meters can unintentionally be switched from one unit of measurement to another, resulting in an inaccurate blood glucose interpretation by the user. Users in the United States should make sure that their meter reading is displayed as mg/dL because an inaccurate reading can lead to taking the wrong dose of insulin or dietary changes, resulting in higher levels of sugar in the blood or
  • October 18, 2005
    Medicare partners will have additional resources available to help them inform and educate people about the new prescription drug coverage, including a new Prescription Drug Plan Finder, well before enrollment begins on November 15. Soon, beneficiaries and their family members will be able to use these tools to make better decisions about their Medicare drug coverage. The Prescription Drug Plan Finder, available at www.medicare.gov, is a new resource CMS is now using to help train local partners, such as the State Health Insurance
  • September 23, 2005
    KatrinaHealth.org is an online service to help individuals affected by Hurricane Katrina work with their health professionals to gain access to their own electronic prescription medication records. Through KatrinaHealth.org, authorized pharmacists and doctors can get records of medications evacuees were using before the storm hit, including the specific dosages. Having this information will help evacuees renew their medications, and help healthcare professionals avoid harmful prescription errors when prescribing new medications, and it will help them
  • September 23, 2005
    NCPIE Coalition works to improve dialogue / promote safe medicine use.
  • September 21, 2005
    Many consumers have turned to the Internet to purchase medications. However, the global nature of the Internet can hinder state and federal efforts to identify and regulate Internet pharmacies to help assure the safety and efficacy of products sold. A recent report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) examined (1) the extent to which certain medicines can be purchased over the Internet without a prescription; (2) whether the medications are handled properly, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and authentic; and (3) the
  • August 31, 2005
    The FDA is providing information on the use of drugs that have been potentially contaminated by flooding or unsafe water and also the use of temperature- sensitive drug products that have been involved in a temporary electrical power failure. Drugs (pills, oral liquids, drugs for injection, inhalers, skin medications) that have been exposed to flood or unsafe municipal water may become contaminated. This contamination may lead to diseases that can cause serious health effects. FDA recommends that drug products - even those in their original containers -
  • August 31, 2005
    The U.S. Justice Department has unveiled a new website designed to discourage teen methamphetamine use. Along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Justice officials announced the launch of the JUST THINK TWICE website. The site includes before-and-after pictures of meth users, images of users' rotten teeth, and other warnings about use of the drug. “Some say it’s great, but it’s really your worst nightmare,” the site states. The site includes detailed information about OTC and prescription medicine abuse; helpful links, and free resources.
  • August 31, 2005
    The U.S. Justice Department has unveiled a new website designed to discourage teen methamphetamine use. Along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Justice officials announced the launch of the JUST THINK TWICE website. The site includes before-and-after pictures of meth users, images of users' rotten teeth, and other warnings about use of the drug. “Some say it’s great, but it’s really your worst nightmare,” the site states. The site includes detailed information about OTC and prescription medicine abuse; helpful links, and free resources.
  • August 29, 2005
    More than 4.3 million visits to physician’s offices, hospital outpatient departments, and hospital emergency departments in 2001 were for treatment of adverse drug effects, up from 2.7 million in 1995, according to a new study by AHRQ researchers. The study, “Ambulatory Care Visits for Treating Adverse Drug Effects in the United States, 1995-2001,” was published in the July issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. In 2001, 74 percent of all visits for treating adverse drug effects were made to

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